CD Shannon Stephens [Digipak] (CD 6721757),
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Shannon Stephens [Digipak]

  • 1. So Gentle Your Arms
    2. Panic
    3. Months
    4. I Want to Be Your Friend
    5. Deliverance
    6. I Don't Want to Go
    7. Welcome to New York
    8. Air so Thick
    9. Army of 7:00
    10. Catch the Morning Line
    11. Arrows
    12. I'll Be Glad
    13. Arrows (Reprise)
    14. My Feeble Heart
    15. Way Relationships End Up, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 056

  • Credits
    EngineerJohn Erskine; Matthew Haseltine; Shannon Stephens

    Audio Mixers: John Erskine; Shannon Stephens; Sufjan Stevens.
    Recording information: Hope College; University Of Michigan.
    Illustrator: Gala Bent.
    Photographer: Scott Crane.
    Shannon Stephens, a former bandmate and longtime friend of Sufjan Stevens, released her solo debut in 2000 before dropping out of the limelight to raise a family. One decade later, her career is back in full swing thanks to Sufjan's own record label, Asthmatic Kitty, which released Stephens' second album ten years old, but its sparse, soft-spoken folk music isn't exactly time specific, and it works just as well in 2010 as it would've at the turn of the millennium. Stephens decorates her songs lightly, inviting a few friends into the studio to play their instruments -- piano, guitar, and brushed percussion chief among them -- but usually taking a solo approach to the material, the majority of which seems to shine a spotlight on her lyrics. Like many coffeehouse-styled songwriters, she draws upon a hit-or-miss love life for inspiration -- but she does so with a unique, poetic touch, finding metaphors in unlikely places ("You'll tire out soon enough, for I am a fruitless tree/All leaves, all leaves") and gravitating toward words that her contemporaries would struggle to use in a sentence ("girded," "penumbra"). She result is part Lilith Fair folk and part collegiate confessionalism. ~ Andrew Leahey

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