Sincere, subdued, and seriously lackluster, Shawn Mullins
' 1992 self-release, Better Days
, is a promising effort dampened by unremarkable material. Mullins
performs with confidence and emotion, but without a single memorable melody, the singer/songwriter can only struggle with his own creations. None of Better Days
' 12 tracks generate any kind of lyrical spark, as the same old lovelorn, world-weary images and testimonies to artistic temperament clog up the passageways out of tavern-singer obscurity. Fans of Mullins
' fine late-'90s work might enjoy "Just Like Me" and "Locked in My Room," two numbers that barely rise above the other ten slices of soft rock/folk mediocrity. The only legitimate bright spot is Mullins
' strong vocals, which ring with purpose and clarity despite some rather flat production. To the Atlanta artist's credit, his vocals shine enough to make Better Days
a credible outing, but one that only the most devoted fans will be able to appreciate.