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These Four Walls

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iTunes Review

Shawn Colvin occupies that difficult folkie space where the blandishments of the adult-contemporary market threaten to smooth over the artist’s authenticity. Several decades ago she teamed with songwriter and producer John Leventhal, and their success together has extended to numerous awards (three-time Grammy winner) and Colvin’s rise as one of contemporary folk’s most formidable talents. It’s made her a natural presence on progressive radio stations worldwide, but it’s also made her easier listening than her songs suggest. Colvin’s highly literate songwriting employs small stylistic accents to push its points across. “Summer Dress” is gentle folk with a rainstorm’s cleansing sweep heard with its slide guitar. “Tuff Kid” uses a driving rhythm to emphasize its juke-joint nuance. “Cinnamon Road” adds the tight vocal harmonies of Marc Cohn and Patty Griffin to warm its ‘70s country-rock vibe. Teddy Thompson brings a capable male foil to “Let It Slide.” Covers of the Bee Gees’ “Words” and Paul Westerberg’s “Even Here We Are” transform naturally into reflective singer-songwriter laments. Essentially, she owns this territory.

Customer Reviews

Simply Beautiful

Ms. Colvin has done it again. She has turned out another potential Grammy-winning compilation with more of her haunting melodies containing sophisticated lyrics and arrangements. This is alternative pop/folk at it's best. I'm still partial to Diamond in the Rough and Polaroids as my favorite cuts of hers, but Cinnamon Road is coming up close. Thank you, Shawn for putting intelligence back in pop/folk.

She's BACK!!....and better than ever

It is so good to hear our friend Shawn back again, and this was worth waiting for! She has been through a lot since her last album, and she shares it with us in these touching songs. Her haunting melodies and soothing voice are evident again in some of her best work ever.

An Amercian Beauty Well Worth the Wait

For those of us who were Shawn’s “folk fans” from the very beginning (versus her pop fans who believe she has only written one song “Sunny”), this latest album is like manna from heaven for those starving in a superficial wasteland of modern music scene. Her soulful songs reverberate in your head and heart unlike any artist since Joni Mitchell. You “feel” her songs as much as you “hear” them. But then, such is always the case when you put great poetry meets great music. These songs are so richly layered that it will take listeners months of pealing back the album’s luscious petals to fully appreciate the beauty of this rose that sprung from a green house in Salt Lake City. Shawn and John have created an “American Beauty hybrid” that will brighten and enlighten the lives of everyone fortunate enough to transplant into their own musical garden.


Born: January 10, 1956 in Vermillion, SD

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Shawn Colvin is one of the leading lights of the so-called "new folk movement" that began in the late '80s. Although she grew out of the somewhat limited "woman with a guitar" school, she kept the form fresh with a diverse approach, avoiding the genre's clichéd sentiments and all-too-often formulaic arrangements in favor of a more personal, pop-influenced style. Colvin's debut record won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1991, but it was her 1997 single, "Sunny Came Home," that...
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