Soul's Core [Bonus Track]

by: Shawn Mullins

For his major-label debut, Soul's Core, Shawn Mullins spiked his folky pop-rock with slight hints of electronica and hip-hop loops, making him sound like a tamer version of Beck. It's too bad that will be many listeners' first impression of Mullins, since the rest of the album, beneath the glossier surfaces, reveals a sturdy songsmith capable of strong melodies and impressive lyrical narratives. Clearly, his years spent as an independent recording artist have paid off, since the craft is what ground Soul's Core, even when the production is a bit too self-consciously contemporary to fully connect. And that's what makes the album worth a listen. [Soul's Core is also available in a release with added bonus tracks.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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