MULLINS,SHAWN


Title: Light You Up
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Description

VJQC Score: N/A
Artist: MULLINS,SHAWN
Album Name: LIGHT YOU UP
Record Label: VANGUARD RECORDS
Genre: ROCK
Format: VINYL LP
Release Date: 10/12/2010

The album opens with the devastating one-two punch of the cinematic ''California''-which instantly takes it's place alongside such latter-day Cali classics as Tom Petty's ''Free Fallin','' David & David's ''Welcome to the Boomtown,'' Beck's ''Earthquake Weather'' and Mullins' own chart-topper ''Lullaby''-and the smoldering, zeitgeist-capturing title track. In terms of their dramatic payloads, these two songs are of a piece, delving into the tattered yet resilient heart of the American Dream. The California setting, to which Mullins returns on ''Tinseltown,'' functions as a microcosm of our collective journey from wide-eyed innocence through bitter experience to the possibility of personal and collective renewal. The thematic thread runs seamlessly into ''Light You Up,'' with it's unsettling spoken verses-''Everybody wants the real deal/Everybody wants to cop a good feel/Everybody wants more money/Everybody wants a taste of your honey''-and intense choruses, as scorching as the San Fernando Valley in August, as Mullins reaches upward to break into his thrilling falsetto: ''I just want to light you up/Light you up like a fire/I just want to turn you on/Turn you on and take you higher.'' Here, as elsewhere, a deeper perspective is embedded in the song's bridge, as Mullins sings, ''Yeah this old world can bring you down/Turn your smile into a frown/Break your heart and make you sad/Drive you stark raving mad.'' Finally, the narrative drops away as the band launches into a surging extended rave-up, further deepening the song's emotional resonance.

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