14 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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