Frets And Flourishes

PERFORMER: SHAWN COLVIN

ALBUM: FAT CITY

LABEL: COLUMBIA

THE BOTTOM LINE: An urban folkie gets straight to the heart with poignant ballads of remorse and resilience.

ONE NICE THING ABOUT FEMALE singer-songwriters is that they don't have to pretend to be guys. Guy singers do. Dead scared of being tagged sensitive, they get muscle-bound in machismo; it cramps their style and muddies their palette. But Annie Lennox or Bonnie Raitt or Mary-Chapin Carpenter can find shading in passion, a smile in sorrow. Especially in sorrow. For these artists, love is a thing felt most deeply when it's lost. So their songs...

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