By Jim Caligiui, Austin Chronicle | August 23, 2013
Shine echoes Sara Hickman’s Two Kinds of Laughter (1998), where guitar freak Adrian Belew’s off-kilter sensibilities lent her songs a tantalizing edge. Here, she lends the reins to L.A. soundtracker Jim Jacobsen (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), who performs almost all the music. Much like Belew, Jacobsen provides eclectic soundscapes and a wide range of rhythms to surround Hickman, whose vocals might be the most varied and emphatic of her career. On centerpiece “Trouble with Boxes,” the longtime local songstress complains, “The trouble with boxes is I never fit in,” and indeed, she’s exploring a lifetime of resistance to being pigeonholed. Behind the title track’s strident beat, she implores the listener to come out of his or her shell. Between the reassuring shimmer of “You Are Not Alone” and stomp and holler of “Primitive Stuff,” Hickman delivers vivacious adventures.