“Mexican Ana” holds us close from the outset. The production of this track brings the listener close to each individual instrument, yet no one player stands out from the crowd. Ted Cline and his collaborators assembled this track to work as one, the whole existing greater than its individual parts, and there isn’t a second of this track not guided by that aesthetic. I love the guitar work. I imagine it is easy to lapse into cliched runs when attempting to approximate the Spanish influence in songs such as this, but Cline and his musical partners avoid that by bringing a distinctive feel to the track I cannot recall hearing from similarly themed efforts. The lyrical content, moreover, is susceptible to the same reliance on stereotypes and cliché, but Cline successfully lays out his own narrative and emerges from this song creating something that references the past while remaining uniquely his own.
This is no small achievement. Hearing his own voice so strong in this track is the byproduct of Cline’s long ride writing songs, playing, and recording. He has the talent to bring off top notch songs such as this and, to put it simply, knows what he’s doing. A perhaps underrated side of his gifts is his ability to blend his songwriting vision with another’s – his co-writer Gary Beard has worked with Cline on other material and they share a seamless rapport. Nothing sounds disjointed or tacked on. Let’s hope this partnership continues for the indefinite future. It is a great thing to hear Cline covering familiar territory, both lyrically and musically, yet with its own sense of identity and personality. Cline restates the genre’s traditions with his own spin and in a modern context.
Listen to Mexican Ana on Spotify. Ted Cline · Single · 2020 · 1 songs.
This is will be an effective live number when his concert schedule is steady once again. It isn’t difficult for me to imagine Cline bringing even more enthusiasm to his performance with a crowd to play off and that sort of communication between an audience and singer elevates the band’s playing as well. It has a great length for both concerts and its studio recording, but it is also open-ended enough that the band could stretch out the arrangement some if they wished. “Mexican Ana” has the sort of chord changes bands can “riff” on forever.
Cline’s vocals may take some getting used to for an assortment of listeners, but they never pose a problem for me. I like singers with miles on their voice yet ample musical skills; he clears that bar with plenty of room to spare. I can, potentially, agree with some who might say there’s a certain stiffness in portions of his delivery, but it’s far from enough to drag down an otherwise stellar performance in any meaningful degree. He’s an excellent singer for this musical style and breathes theatrical life into the words that will help hold your attention through the cut’s conclusion. “Mexican Ana” may not end up ranked among Ted Cline’s finest recorded moments, but his new single leaves a mark
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