Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection

Polaroids: A Greatest Hits Collection

4.0 2
by Shawn Colvin
     
 

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: ASee more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/23/2004
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969345221
catalogNumber:
93452
Rank:
33237

Tracks

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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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