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Review: 'Cross The Line' An Album by Sandy McLelland

'Cross The Line' will be launched on 11th September and I am actually really disappointed that I will not be able to travel down to Twickenham to join Sandy McLelland at the launch party because I am loving what I am hearing.

The intro of title track 'Cross The Line' puts me in mind of a Martina McBride song who is one of my all time favourites. You can tell straight away that Sandy's music is very much influenced by the 90's style of country music. Tim McGraw in his heyday is a perfect comparison. The lyrics to this song imply that he wants her to 'Cross The Line.' Just drive off together until the road runs out. He isn't thinking of the future, just the here and now. As long as they are together nothing else matters.

'Already Gone' has a lovely guitar instrumental in the middle. The story is about an attraction with someone and you want it to be more than that one nights all too brief encounter. You can tell as this album progresses what a wonderfully talented musician and indeed songwriter that Sandy McLelland is. With the exception of Bass, drums and pedal steel Sandy plays all the instruments himself proving that this album is a real labour of love.

'We Always Will' is about the excitement of new love. It's like outside time has stood still and there are just the two of you planning your life together.

'Before The Sun Goes Down' is a break up song but there really is nothing depressing about it despite the subject. I love the musical arrangement as I do with this whole album.

Sandy has nailed the fine balance between hearing each instrument separately and yet each works together to compliment each other perfectly.

'Because It's You' is a love song that has been stripped back to the bare bones. It is a beautiful ballad with very intimate harmonies. The vision I get when listening to this song is of a couple slow dancing and he is singing this song gently in her ear. Just gorgeous.

'I Believe In You' is an upbeat mid tempo song that seems to get you singing along to it. It instantly makes you feel happy. I love the finger picking guitar solo. It is also nice that Dee sings the second verse and Sandy takes a back seat with the harmonies.

'River Of Tears' has that dobro picking that takes you straight to a western movie. This song very subtly builds in power. Its about a son leaving home to find his own way in the world.

'All In The Name Of Love' starts off with a fairly rocky vibe. You know it's a country song though because that dobro has such a unique sound. Having been hurt in a previous relationship its about overcoming the fear of showing your emotions.

'Poor Excuse' is another song that Dee takes lead vocals which works really well. Again there is that continuous dobro picking out the rhythm as well as complimenting the melody. Its about wanting to know how long the relationship had been a lie until he came up with his excuse to leave. She cares for him still.

'I've Ever Known' picks up the pace a bit and Sandy is back at the helm. Its about wanting to walk away from a relationship but he can't quite bring himself to do it because she is still "the best drug he has ever known".

'Reasons To Believe' shows off the huskiness in Sandy's voice to perfection. It's about feeling saved by the love of his partner.

'To Prove A Love' is another song that made me tap my feet in time to the beat. There is no prominent dobro picking in this song but that doesn't make me like it any less than any of the others.

'My Home Town' has been stripped back to just mandolin and guitar. This song is about memories of his parents and growing up. He realises that the memories and his home town influenced and defined the person that he has become.

I absolutely love this album. It takes me back to that 90's era of country music where every note resonated with me.

If you are lucky enough to buy a physical copy at one of Sandy's gigs then you will have all the words to all the songs. I for one can't wait to learn these songs.

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