Hard to say
I have been a fan Mclean's music since the 70's, and in that time I came to value a well-turned phrase, a clear and present tenor, the rich sound of a Martin guitar, thoughtful lyrical poetry crafted into melody, and above all, a creative quality of musical presentation that moved the heart, mind, and spirit. Of late, that notwithstanding, I feel a profound loss at the slow leaching quality from Mclean's last few offerings, as they seem to exude more of the tired lounge singer rather than the poignant troubadour of my (and his) youth. Many artists can and do produce some of their best material late into their carriers, but unless there's a sort of renaissance in Mclean’s life, he may remain known only for his lush compositions written so many decades ago. Hence, Botanical Gardens, at first blush, seems more monochromatic and filled with safe and easy low hanging fruit. Gone is the swagger, the keen critical social eye, and the hand on the pulse of love, of loss, and of the deeper more inaccessible and abstract elements of the human condition. I sincerely hope Mclean can once again discover that inner voice of his raison d'être. It is not regrettably, found in Botanical Gardens, in spite of its expense of spirit.