Whole New You - Shawn Colvin
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 90
    As a singer, the South Dakota-born, Ontario and Illinois-raised Colvin occupies a niche between pensive Sheryl Crow and pre-jazz Joni Mitchell: no histrionics but a telling, often moving restraint.
  2. Now that she's on the mommy track, Colvin writes about the impossibility of leaving, much less returning, with a torch. [3/30/2001, p.68]
  3. Whole New You may not contain a song that will spark sales and awards the way "Sunny Came Home" did, but anyone who, like the artist herself, has come to the safe harbor of family life (even with its many challenges) after a long, uncertain voyage through personal relationships and life experiences will appreciate Colvin's ruminations on the subject.
  4. While this falls short of the momentous A Few Small Repairs, it's still something to treasure.
  5. Whole New You easily rises above the din of the sound-alike pop and rock recordings currently crowding the marketplace, offering a plethora of complex yet sweet melodies and lyrics that are both smart and rife with empathetic emotion.
  6. Whole New You peters out in its midsection, falling back on a succession of pleasant but unremarkable songs, but its opening third takes the shape of one career highlight after another. Marred only by the occasional well-worn vocal inflection--and the occasional "we try and try / we cry, baby, cry" couplet--those songs are strong enough to bring the album as a whole up to their distinguished level.
  7. 70
    Musically a pretty blend of folksy guitar and lightly new-wave synth, these tunes seethe in a nice-girl way, simmering slightly, but never quite boiling over.
  8. I don't think this collection has quite the edge of Repairs, yet there are enough sepia portraits of romantic angst, enough evocations of exposed sensitivity, sufficient signs that this mistress of the melancholy will once again win the hearts of earlier subscribers to her work.
  9. It comes off softer than its predecessor, and not nearly as affecting.
  10. Colvin has a small but honeyed voice, never too sad or too happy, and multi-instrumentalist [producer John] Leventhal has encased it in caressing arrangements, complete with the occasional string quartet. The ensuing pleasures are generally low-key, and while one can appreciate the attentive craftsmanship applied to each song, the cumulative mood is a little snoozy.
  11. The contrast between Colvin's manner-free singing and the pristine arrangements by her co-songwriter and producer, John Leventhal, creates an interesting dance of the offhand and the strategic.
  12. The music is rarely up to the task set by the lyrics. Truly successful union of melody and words occurs only twice—on the sparsely arranged stream of consciousness titled "Bonefields" and on the album's most original piece, "Another Plane Went Down," which teeters beautifully on the edge of dream and reality.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. MackyE
    Dec 21, 2004
    10
    She is one of the best artists in America, this is a really great album , Its a pity she does not recieve more aclaim.
  2. Krissi
    Jul 27, 2003
    9
    Gorgeous, often insightful and finally, moving. Dave Matthews does the backing vocals for almost an angel. :o)
  3. [Anonymous]
    Jul 20, 2002
    10
    Fantastic effort realized beautifully. May not grab you by the balls on the first listen-through, but soon thereafter, anyone with a heart or Fantastic effort realized beautifully. May not grab you by the balls on the first listen-through, but soon thereafter, anyone with a heart or a mind will be reeling...she is genius! Full Review »