PATRICK McLEAN: One Heart One Beat (Expansion)

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Till this Autumn, not too many people will have heard the name Patrick McLean, despite him being a UK soul veteran.  … though, for sure, they will have heard him! You see the singer/sax man/writer/arranger/producer was a founder member of Hi Tension and more recently worked with the Brit Funk Association. In betwen all that he was working with family band M Lights but then Patrick took some time out to be with his family. Even during that time out, though, he still worked at his music releasing a 2012 single ‘Cruising Into Sunrise’.

Then over the last few years, McLean started to lay down some more songs for a putative album which the lockdown has given him the opportunity to finish off. The album, ‘One Heart One Beat’ was flagged up by the leaking of a couple of tunes in October. First up there was the sprightly and optimistic ‘There’s A Reason’ but the cut that grabbed the attention was the gorgeously slinky ‘Go Right On’. Patrick told us the song was about forgiveness, and about moving on, and not dwelling too much on the past, whatever the situation is. The cut had a feel of ‘What’s Going On’ which only added to the message in the music and here on the finished album it’s a real highlight… but just one of many!

‘What’s Wrong’ offers a similar sound and message and Patrick knows it’s a good song ‘cos he offers it in two mixes – the original and a “smooth jazz” instrumental tweak that’s perfect for late night radio. ‘Release Their Soul’ comes in two formats too. The original is almost funky with a message that calls on us to help those in need. The “smooth jazz” mix of this one is gentler, almost acoustic, but the message is no less impactful.

By now you should have relalised that with ‘One Heart One Beat’ Patrick, via his music, is trying to deliver some important messages… a mission inspired by his late father. (Both his parents, he says, have inspired his life journey). So the opening track ‘Let’s Dance’ (though danceable) is all about self-motivation, ‘Meet Me At The Crossroads’ is  about people coming together while the LP’s ‘Superstition’-flavoured title cut is about world unity; oneness amongst nations, peace and harmony, acceptance and solutions. Some people may say it all sounds naïve, but c’mon, we need to start somewhere and hey – as someone once said – what’s so wrong with love, peace and understanding? Nothing! And when those sorts of messages are wrapped in the kind of Brit soul that Patrick has crafted here, so much the better!

(BB) 4/5