""Salvador," "Don't Give Up," and "Aurora" are the best tracks on this CD. It would be interesting to see Hickman in concert nowadays and see if she has the same kind of sound, or if she has changed a lot. I recently discovered this CD after it lay dormant for ten years. It's just as fresh today! Hickman has a very original sound, and I wish more modern performers had the courage to have their own sound rather than parroting others.
"Equally Scary People" is also a good CD of early Hickman. You can't miss with this one either!! :)"
Sara's biggest seller
Jim G | St. Louis, MO United States | 12/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great (if short) album. I bought a new one to replace the one I burned out after years of playing (and less-than-careful handling...)The most popular album (I think) in Sara's discography. From a song like 'Aurora' about a musical visit to an invalid in a hospital, to 'Too Fast' (where a lady has, ahem, an interlude with the popsicle guy), to the imagery of 'In The Fields', this is a must for any fan of thoughtful, beautiful music..."
Why this album wasn't a smash is mystifying
Marsha B. Rupe | Albuquerque, NM | 04/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Shortstop" was simply a stunning release by Sara Hickman, with power and maturity only hinted at on her wonderful debut, "Equal Scary People." The pop of "I Couldn't Help Myself," assisted by some really nice sax work, should have been a smash hit on radio, and "The Very Thing," a wry song about relationships between men and women, also richly deserved airplay. One has to wonder if this album would have fared better had it been released years later, after other folk-based artists like Shawn Colvin broke through to get airplay. I have found Sara most interesting in that she writes about subjects few other songwriters touch. For instance, the steel-stringed acoustic piece "Aurora" takes a powerful look at the issue of aging via a visit to an elderly family member, who cannot speak but taps her toes to the beat of Sara's guitar. "Don't Give Up" is an uplifting song offering encouragement to those who have given up on life. It ALWAYS leaves me with a smile. I simply love to play the song "Too Fast" for friends, Sara's tale of a not-so-shy woman who takes sexual matters into her own hands. The album opens with a nice, uptempo, acoustic love song, "In the Fields," before moving into the title tune, another of Sara's impressionistic pieces that hits the mark. All in all, album that left me puzzled: How could an album this musically rich get such poor response from radio programmers?"
Dancing in the middle of a crazy diamond
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 02/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sara Hickman's second album for Elektra Records shows the grooming that her label obviously thought her worthy of at the time. Producer David Kershenbaum (Tracy Chapman, Joe Jackson) was brought in to give "Shortstop" the full digital buff job, and Sara was given a big budget sound on the likes of "I Couldn't Help Myself" in the hopes of Adult Contemporary and VH1 airplay. (I still have the videos from her appearances on Johnny Carson's and Pat Sajak's late shows.)
The end result was her most commercially successful album. And while "I Couldn't Help Myself" did get a great deal of radio play, it is the song least indicative of Sara's talents. She is a great songwriter, given to spurts of impish humor (the title track), genuine optimism ("If We Sent Our Hearts Over Now," written about a death row inmate and a Hostage from the Iranian Crisis - remember that?), and passion with flair ("Salvador," about Dali). The instrumentation is mostly acoustic and includes a few cohorts from Joni Mitchell's bands, all given lots of place to let their passages breathe.
"Shortstop" is an album that also holds a special place in my collection and heart. Sara is the only person to ever name check me on her album. You'll see Tim at WAFL mentioned (because I programmed "Equal Scary People" way back when you could still get away with choosing what songs you played as a DJ). So you have to understand that, when it comes to Sara, I am a very prejudiced fan. If even with that admittance you may be slightly disinclined to add this to your library, I still say GET THIS CD. You can use my email address and thank me later."
You must buy it....
Tim Brough | 05/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"she has such a beautyful and stering voice...i wish i could put her in alittle box and bring her with me every place i go.....she really helps to calm my bad moods and strengthen my dreams....would love to meet her and sit in her world of music and laughter....thank you so much for this album and all your others..."