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A Few Small Repairs

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Audio CD, October 15, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B0012GMZQS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,994 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sunny Came Home
2. Get out of This House
3. The Facts About Jimmy
4. You and the Mona Lisa
5. Trouble
6. I Want It Back
7. If I Were Brave
8. Wichita Skyline
9. 84,000 Different Delusions
10. Suicide Alley
11. New Thing Now
12. Nothin' on Me

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

I recommend it to anyone who likes her other work, or any music of this kind.
Erin (rainbowdragon@usa.net)
The whole thing is just so focused and coherent and all around such human themes expressed in such an honest, beautiful way.
T. Harward
I like all songs on this album except for "The Facts About Jimmy" which I didn't care too much for.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"A Few Small Repairs" has been Shawn Colvin's most successful album, and won her the coveted Grammy Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1998 with "Sunny Came Home", which was a Top 10 hit for her, and the album also received a Grammy nomination in '97, as well as one for Best Female Pop Vocal for "Get Out of This House".
It's a mellow, easy going collection of songs co-written by Shawn and producer John Leventhal, and the musicianship is excellent, with John also playing most of the instruments.

Shawn's voice is not strong, but has a charming quality to it, with a soft huskiness and warmth that makes this CD very pleasant listening; its main substance is in its lyrics, which have a raw toughness to them...little intimate stories wrapped up in a melody.
Favorites for me are "Get Out of This House", "The Facts About Jimmy", and the dreamy quality of "Wichita Skyline".
It was the fabulous cover art that caught my eye and the reason I picked this CD up...the exquisite painting is by one of America's most inspired artists, Julie Speed.
All the lyrics are printed in the fold-out insert, the sound is nice and clean, and total playing time is 51'24.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Since I adored FAT CITY, I was quick to pick up this new tape, and immediately recognized "Sunny Came Home" from the radio. But the rest of the tape left me blank the first time I listened to it. With the exception of one or two songs it seemed depressing and musically blah. I was disappointed. However, I later found myself haunted by certain musical motifs and plays on words that I hadn't even realized I'd heard. I listened to it again, and then again. Now I listen to it every day, sometimes twice a day.
I love the absence of empty optimism-- there's nothing worse than listening to a banal, happy singer in a world where things rarely if ever go well. I also love her guts. This woman is something else-- a singer who knows that love hurts and life isn't sweet, but utterly rejects the comfortable morass of despair into which other singers seem to sink.
It's a deeply personal album, so if you don't want to know about Shawn Colvin then don't buy it. But if you're interested in the emotional record of this strong and quirky woman, buy. I guarantee you'll love it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "healinrain" on December 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Okay, I admit it. I bought this album solely for "Sunny Came Home." After giving the CD a few spins, I can definitely say that A FEW SMALL REPAIRS is one of my favorite albums. In the aforementioned "Sunny Came Home," Shawn sings with pure desperation, but she never sounds indulgent. She also doesn't turn the song into candy tragedy, which frequently happens when songwriters try to capture a traumatic event. It also contains the IMMORTAL lyric "Hold on tight, the world is burning down."
Another standout on this album, in my opinion, is "If I Were Brave," where Shawn sings with the only the paino accompanying her. While not as overtly strong as some of the other tracks ("Get Out of this House" and "Trouble" come to mind), this song's appeal is in its fluidity and smoothness.
Another note is Shawn's lyrics and music in general. Here she pulls no punches- each song has it's own definite meaning to be perceived through the singing and music. Although a listener can potentially rock out to these songs (again "Get Out of this House" comes to mind), I think that "A Few Small Repairs" is a "listening" album that deserves a few listens.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sal Nudo VINE VOICE on March 10, 2001
Format: Audio CD
"You don't have to drag me down, I descend," sings Shawn Colvin on "Trouble," one of the many downtrodden but excellent tunes on this highly successful and critically acclaimed disc from 1996.

When Colvin writes in a less mellow way, as on the opener, "Sunny Came Home," and the song that follows that, the excellent "Get Out of this House," her songs are almost anthemic, catchy beyond belief. Yet her strength is in extremely insightful, honest lyrics, where you have to listen close or you'll miss out on something worth remembering. Colvin comes across as unpretentious and real, a true artist. The photos of the heartland within her CD booklet further that image. Other rousing tunes include "You and the Mona Lisa," "I Want it Back," "Nothing on Me" and "Suicide Alley."

Despite the bleak subject matter, "Suicide Alley" actually contains a pretty hopeful message, and the slight echo on Colvin's voice as she smoothly sings "walkin' down suicide alley" practically makes this song the best of the batch, on an album that does not contain one dud. On the more mellow side of the coin, "The Facts About Jimmy" is intense and troubling, a perfect example of Colvin's outstanding ability to tap into the human spirit. Like Cheryl Crow, Jewel, and Alanis Morrisette, Colvin sings straight from the heart and never minces words. Her vocals are close and smooth throughout, offsetting the sometimes depressing spirit of her songs. One such song is the great "84,000 Different Delusions," which has simple, offbeat lyrics that convey true sadness. Still, her words make a person pay attention, as on another mesmerizing song, "New Thing Now," where nothing is ever as it seems, yet life goes on.

Colvin gets help with a talented bunch of musicians, but it's her lyrics and personality that command this record. In an age of ridiculous boy bands, American Idol participants and silly pop teen stars, Shawn Colvin is sweet relief on the ears.
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