Shawn Mullins: honeydew

Music Reviews Shawn Mullins
Shawn Mullins: honeydew

With honeydew, his 11th album, Shawn Mullins didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Reeling from the death of his mother in 2006, and also Roadie—his dog and touring companion of 17 years (“I know, it sounds like a bad country song” laughs Mullins)—the journeyman singer/songwriter decided to inject his inner turmoil into the lives of his characters, out of which hail from his native Georgia. The resulting 12 tracks here are the most personal and ambiguous of Mullins’ career. Whereas previous efforts found him constantly comforting his hard-luck protagonists with falsetto-driven platitudes (“Everything’s gonna be all right…”), honeydew leaves the listener with more unanswered questions between the lines. The effect is simultaneously alluring and inclusive, allowing Mullins’ sinewy baritone to tell its heartbreak stories with a heightened sense of reality. “I was wrong, and you played along,” he sings on “Now That You’re Gone,” “and you followed me into the sea.”

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