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Soul's Core

Shawn Mullins

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Album Review

Spontaneous, vibrant, and lyrically stimulating, Shawn Mullins scores big with his passionate messages and his flair for natural storytelling that touches the core of the listener's soul. Mullins brings together ten years of hard work and a respected musician's ethic for the release of the aptly entitled Soul's Core, his first record on a major label. The Columbia release is ethereal, rich in narrative, and, though overly produced at times, filled with expressive instrumental work. Mullins lets his scratchy and deeply resonating voice blend in smoothly with his six-string guitar and fellow bandmates. The opening track, "Anchored in You," takes off with an uplifting message of newfound love and fresh hope, raising the listener to clear skies. Singing "I'm stoned in San Francisco with you on my mind" may have been the net to catch this song away from radio airplay, though the melody feels free in a euphoric sense. The radio airplay hit "Lullaby" mentions a girl who is feeling depressed, crying out for a life away from her upbringing, a life full of Hollywood days and movie star-filled nights. Other tunes carry stories filled with strength lying in the lyrics' character development, such as "Gulf of Mexico." Singing about liquor stores, deserted boardwalks, holy waterfalls, and lost highways, Mullins makes no excuses not to touch on very human circumstances. "I heard a voice from my soul's core, saying freedom's just a metaphor" is certainly a lyric deemed powerful and meaningful in scope. "September in Seattle" is a driving tune branded with a gospel finish, polished with joyous melodic vocal statements. The story of a man of 37 who's been riding trains for 15 years — lost in his journey to find the ocean and smell the salt of the sea — encompasses the tune "Twin Rocks, Oregon." On a perilous journey to be found and to find one's self, the man — though offered a ride to the San Francisco Bay — decides to stay and catch the next train and "dream his life away." Other bright spots on this record deserve an attentive listen, including the dreamy, haunting "On a Rainy Night," the soulful "Soul Child," and the heartwarming "You Mean Everything to Me." "Shimmer," a song of optimism and encouragement, will always bring delight and joy to the suffering listener, encouraging everyone human to realize we were born to shimmer and shine, born to radiate. A touching song in a more personal way is the letter dedicated to friend Patrick Cosgrove. Fans of Mullins will be sure to capture the moment and seize this time, while wrapping their arms and ears around the record for a listen. ~ Shawn M. Haney, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Soul's Core hits the spot

I heard Shawn interviewed on breakfast TV on a business trip to New York in 1999 when the album was first released. I was immediately impressed. I was staying in downtown Manhattan in the World Trade Center and popped into the the nearest Sam Goody on my way to the office and bought my copy. The melody, emotion and pure brilliance of the songs is timeless. From Twin Rocks, Oregon through Tannin Bed Song to Shimmer, these are songs from a place and time that tell it like it is. Mullins guitar picking and delivery of lyrics together with his eally strong writing make this album absolutely unmissable. Over the years i've listened to it a thousand times and I still go back to it regularly. In fact, it's in the Land Rover CD changer now, 10 years after it was released. Buy and enjoy this most unsung of heroes.

Musical perfection.

I've loved this album from the first time I heard it! I love his voice, lyrics and the fact that his music is both soulful and chilled! Would recommend to anyone who likes this kind of music!

Fantastic Stuff

This album is superb. There isn't a weak song! Especially great songs are Lullaby, The Gulf of Mexico, Twin Rocks, Oregon and Shimmer - a definite must-buy!

Biography

Born: 08 March 1968 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

An Atlanta-based folksinger best known for his Top Ten hit "Lullaby," Shawn Mullins was serving as a member of the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry Division when he released his first self-titled cassette (issued on his own label, SM) in 1989. Following the release of 1991's Everchanging World, he left the military after eight years of service to pursue music on a full-time basis. After three years spent fruitlessly searching for a record deal, Mullins established a new label, SMG, and released the LPs...
Full bio