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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

This album isn't a redneck album. This is a 90s rock album that includes some pretty good music. The best tracks are September In Seattle, Lullaby, Shimmer, and Soul Child.

Still holds up...

I bought this album what seems like a lifetime ago when in fact it was almost 10 years ago, and I still remember bringing it home and listening to each track over and over the entire night. They say music can change your life, well this album changed mine and still to this day it holds up as that album, being 30 now, I have a whole new understanding for this album and I thank the Gods that Shawn made this album. There isnt a whole lot of good people in this verse, but it only takes a few and Shawn is one of them.

Buy this

Bought it when it first came out and have purchased two additional copies and am now downloading it. Shawn Mullins is one of the best and overlooked songwriters of recent memory. He weaves some great stories. I purchased it for lullaby and it became one of a handful of albums I can listen to beginning to end. He does a great cover of Kris Kristofferson's Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down, and you can see how Mullin's honed his songwriting craft listening to artists like him. He doesn't dissapoint in subsequent albums either.

Biography

Born: March 8, 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