Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Shawn Colvin's songs are careful and precise: She crystallizes complexities in a few phrases, and her sweetly fragile voice conveys depths of emotions. She's not a prolific writer -- since 1989, she's released only four albums of new material -- but her songs often written with John Leventhal are remarkably consistent, as amply demonstrated on Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection. Arranged chronologically, the set begins with three tracks from the moody and artful Steady On, highlighted by the gentle pulse of the devastating "Shotgun Down the Avalanche." Fat City, from 1992, included two of her best songs: the lilting, wistful "Polaroids" and the plaintive, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Shawn Colvin's songs are careful and precise: She crystallizes complexities in a few phrases, and her sweetly fragile voice conveys depths of emotions. She's not a prolific writer -- since 1989, she's released only four albums of new material -- but her songs often written with John Leventhal are remarkably consistent, as amply demonstrated on Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection. Arranged chronologically, the set begins with three tracks from the moody and artful Steady On, highlighted by the gentle pulse of the devastating "Shotgun Down the Avalanche." Fat City, from 1992, included two of her best songs: the lilting, wistful "Polaroids" and the plaintive, heartbreaking "I Don't Know Why." Colvin displayed her skills as an interpreter on 1994's Cover Girl, and she finds new subtleties in the Police's "Every Little Thing He Does Is Magic" and the Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place Naïve Melody." She scored a hit and a pair of Grammys with "Sunny Came Home" from 1996's A Few Small Repairs, and songs like "You and the Mona Lisa" and "Get Out of This House" find her channeling bitter feelings into surprisingly bright pop productions. Whole New You from 2001 continued to favor polished arrangements for songs like the lovely "A Matter of Minutes," although the bonus cover of Lennon & McCartney's "I'll Be Back" hints at her folk-leaning early work. Like its namesake, Shawn Colvin's Polaroids emerge from darkness into glossy Technicolor, and the snapshots of her career are captivating at every stage of development.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Shawn Colvin was one of the few pure singer/songwriters who broke through to mainstream success in the 1990s, and with good reason -- her songs have the strength and emotional honesty to satisfy her core folkie crowd, while her breathy but powerful voice communicates with enough force to be a lot more than just a vehicle for her lyrics. It also helps that she isn't afraid of a good pop melody, as her taste in covers suggests, and that she can write one herself when she's so inclined, indicated by the fact she had actual hit singles with "Sunny Came Home" and "I Don't Know Why." Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection is a Shawn Colvin compilation whose focus is summed up quite clearly by its subtitle -- her best-known songs are all here, for the most part, while lesser-known and fan-focused material doesn't make the cut, most notably anything from her bare-bones Live '88 album, which still ranks with her best and most passionate work. And shame on Sony for not including what would have the ideal hidden track -- Colvin's witty musical performance as Christian songbird Rachel Jordan on The Simpsons. But as a sampler of Colvin's work or an introduction for beginners, Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection serves its purpose well -- there's plenty of fine music including a newly recorded cover of the Beatles' "I'll Be Back" that's exclusive to this collection that offers a clear and concise picture of Colvin's creative arc to date, and this is a consistently pleasurable listen from start to finish. With any luck, in another 15 years she'll have another set of songs this strong for Polaroids, Pt. 2.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/23/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969345221
  • Catalog Number: 93452
  • Sales rank: 35,196

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Shawn Colvin Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
John Alagia Hammond Organ, bass pedals
Technical Credits
David Byrne Composer
Shawn Colvin Composer, Producer
Jerry Harrison Composer
John Lennon Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Steve Addabbo Producer
Chris Frantz Composer
David Kahne Producer
Larry Klein Producer
Moondi Klein Composer
John Leventhal Composer, Producer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Fred Remmert Engineer
Steuart Smith Producer, Contributor
Tina Weymouth Composer
John Alagia Producer
Kenny White Producer
Mary Maurer Art Direction
Helix Hadar Engineer
Adam Odor Engineer
Pete Hanlon Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Triumph of Craft

    The B&N reviewer's descriptiom of Colvin as careful and precise is right on the mark. She will never display the raw emotion of Lucinda Williams but she is consistent. There may not be a single overwhelming track on here but all of them are good and none makes you hit skip. The crisp production is also praiseworthy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Greatest Recorded Voice

    The great Alison Krause once referred to Shawn Colvin's voice as the "greatest" and listening to this compilation, one would be hard-pressed to disagree. I am a long time fan of Colvin's and enjoy this collection a lot. I have even purchased it for some friends as an introduction to Colvin and I am sure that they'll enjoy it. While this is an album I highly recommend, I do question a few of the selections. The cover of the Police tune is my least favorite on the Cover Girl album and I was really surprised to see it on a "greatest hits" album. I would have included "Climb On", "Fat City", "Something to Believe In" and "Dead of the Night" long before that cut. However, I am just happy to have another Colvin CD in my CD rack...just can't wait for her to release some new material very soon.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews