Ann Arbor Weather:
Sunday October 22, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Shawn Mullins

 

continued

The new album includes songs about love, contemporary relationships, parenthood, the Great Recession, and the hypnotized gloom that gripped New York in the days after September 11, 2001. They're tied together mostly by Mullins' baritone, with its generous helping of gravelly Southern soul.

Some of these songs could be classified as country, and Mullins has placed some songs on the Nashville hit parade. He had a hand in the clever recent beach anthem "Toes," a number-one hit for the Zac Brown Band. But generally he avoids the uses of sentiment and formal convention that often define music as country. Even a simple ballad like "I Knew a Girl" breaks its pattern with an image of "a broken soul and a complicated smile."

Mullins writes solo but also collaborates with songwriters from the country sphere (notably Chuck Cannon, who suggested the "colors of the lie" line), and sometimes the latter group of songs has the feel of a humorous release from the task of working toward the lowest common denominator. The title track "Light You Up" has a completely ordinary sung refrain--"I just want to light you up, light you up like a fire"--but the spoken verses parody seduction lyrics with drawled, just slightly improbable rhymes: "Everybody wants a puff of your pipe dream / Everybody wants a lick of your ice cream."

This underrated Southern songwriter comes to The Ark on November 1.    (end of article)

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3 l 4  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

A Family Story In The Digitized Michigan Daily, by Tim Athan
Body, Mind, & Spirit
Congestion Prescription
Dexter to add roundabouts
Sally Mitani
Sports, Dancing, Nature, & Recreation
Health Care - Mental Illness
Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Nightspots: Crossroads Bar & Grill
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Pipeline Protest
As a giant gas line inches closer to its day camp, the Ann Arbor Y goes into activist mode.
Julie Halpert
Don Kwon is Now Kosmo
And he's hoping to make it big with bibimbap.
Sabine Bickford
John Shultz photography and Portrait Studio in Ann Arbor since 1982