September 25, 2006 12:00 PM

These Four Walls

FOLK-ROCK

On her first studio release in five years, the three-time Grammy winner revives her career with a new expressiveness and energy. Rather than cater her sound for a contrived run at the pop charts, she follows the mold of elder stateswomen like Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris on These Four Walls, mining her soul and coming up with the most self-assured album of her career. Whether it’s the uptempo yearning of “Fill Me Up” or the stripped-down beauty of “I’m Gone,” Colvin now adds a well-earned wisdom to her storytelling. She’s even confident enough to close with a surprisingly poignant acoustic cover of the Bee Gees ballad “Words,” which would be a train wreck in lesser hands.

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DOWNLOAD THIS: “I’m Gone”

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