“The Box it Up EP was produced at Boston's Q Division Studios by Falcone and Ed Valauskas (Shellye’s brother, Dean’s old bandmate in One Hundred Faces, and the celebrated bassist for The Gravel Pit, The Gentlemen and Juliana Hatfield) contains the first new songs Shellye and Dean have written since Shellye’s acclaimed 2001 solo album The Stupid Truth. The poetic lyrics probe all the delicacy, delirium and disappointments of modern relationships. “Sorry only works so many times,” Valauskas sings on “40 Things”, shortly before the songs leaps into its gorgeous upbeat chorus. “Box It Up” and “This Side of Goodbye” both build gradually from intimate confessions (“Maybe I expect too much”; “I don’t know how to talk to you”) into grand guitar-fueled statements that will have you swaying, swooning and singing along. “Couldn’t Find the Time” has a darker feel, while “Hard to See’ verges into psychedelic territory.”
“Box It Up," The Shellye Valauskas Experience — It took a long time to actually finish, but this five-song EP proves once again that Shellye does power pop just as well anyone, and guitarist/co-songwriter Dean Falcone knows how to produce it. Comparisons to folks like Julianna Hatfield make sense, but this EP is far better than Julianna's 2008 record. Seriously. ”
“Here's a look at some of the killer tracks you'll hear when you buy the CD And you will buy it, since it's so good. -40 Things - We especially like Dean Falcone's lead playing on this one; it's both subtle and suitably ear-catching at varying times. The harmony vocals stand out as well. -Box It Up - The title track of this EP is a slow-moving, acoustic-based song that kicks in after about a minute. It has a great melody line and a really catchy chorus. -This Side of Goodbye - The jangly electric guitars complement the acoustic guitars. We can't help but think "This Side of Goodbye" sounds like it could be a Matthew Sweet track, "100% Fun" era. -Hard To See - Dean Falcone's baritone guitar makes this song. It's already a good tune, but the baritone guitar complements the electric guitar parts perfectly. -Couldn't Find The Time- This track slowly builds over Bruce Crowder's prevalent drum part. It's a moody tune that doesn't reveal a catchy chorus until about 90 seconds in. ”
““. . .These kids are good. Really good. Shellye has a beautiful voice, and writes lovely, gentle pop songs.” ”
“Q: “What is the best original, new local CD released in the last year?” A: “The Stupid Truth by Shellye Valauskis, who has a unique ability to craft emotionally powerful songs that are never maudlin or self pitying.” -Drew Cucuzza Q: “If you could sign any local music act to a national recording contract, who would you sign?” A: “I suppose this getting redundant but Shellye Valauskas (who will get one eventually).” -Drew Cucuzza Q: “Describe the most memorable moment you experienced in a live music setting in Greater New Haven in the last year.” A: “Shellye Valauskas' CD release party at Cafe 9. Wax lips, packed house, balloons and no CDs!” -The Battlecats”
" This singer-songwriter specializes in heartfelt, gentle melodies. If you like Shawn Colvin and Ani Difranco, you'll love Shellye."
“If you haven't heard Shellye Valauskas yet, you have no one to blame but yourself. She's been on a variety of bills, opening for everyone from Pat Benatar at Toad's Place to Ivy at the GPSCY Bar to Jules Verdone at Rudy's and Dar Williams in Stamford. Shellye deftly adapts pop complexities to sturdily simple solo acoustic arrangements. Someone to learn from." ”
" Mirthful, soulful and amiable . . . as a solo artist she's got everything she needs - an alternately tough and tender voice, memorable melodies, lyrics you want to hear clearly and absolute unadulterated charm." " . . . charmingly personal folk-pop songs."
“The Shellye Valauskas Experience, Box It Up (myspace.com/theshellyevalauskasexperience). It took years to produce this five-song EP follow-up to Shellye's 2002 solo CD The Stupid Truth and the results are immaculately produced in a blissful power-pop style without being overdone. These are breezy, relaxing contemplations of modern romance, hyped up by the glittering guitar solos of Shellye's co-bandleader and song-finisher Dean Falcone.”
“Yep, after a long, seven-year wait, Shellye, Dean Falcone, Bruce Crowder and company are back with "Box It Up," a five-song EP that's full of meticulously crafted pop gems.Recorded at Q Division in Somerville, Mass., where Shellye's brother Ed Valauskas (Gravel Pit, Gentlemen) works. It shouldn't be surprising since a lot of big-time artists have recorded at Q Division, but this disc just sounds so good, which is really a nod to Dean and Ed, who produced it all. All the tunes on the "Box" are catchy, but I just can't get "This Side of Goodbye" out of my head. I've actually listened to it on repeat a couple times; that's not something I do often ... or ever. It may have taken a while, but "Box It Up" is a worthy successor to "The Stupid Truth," which I still really like.”
“The Shellye Valauskas Experience, Box It Up (Slowpoke Records, shellye.net, myspace.com/ theshellyevalauskasexperience). Valauskas shows real master of pop songcraft here with immediate choruses, strong verse melodies, bridges and lyrical twists that kick songs into a dimension unanticipated at the outset. Dean Falcone's shining guitar solos help complete and fortify the arcs of these songs and a crack rhythm section lends muscle reminiscent of classic power-pop. As pop songs should be, these are familiar but original enough to assert Valauskas has something to contribute to such a well-traversed idiom. She and her band balance professionalism and modesty, rocking properly and making no grander statements than the ramifications of heartbreak. These five tunes showcase her gifts and make the listener wonder what else she has up her sleeve. ”
". . . her songs are simultaneously quirky, edgy, catchy, but with Jim Balga on drums, Kriss Santala on bass and the way—cool electric guitar of Dean Falcone, she’s also rock ‘n roll—-not like Chuck Berry rock ‘n roll, more like Freedy Johnston? Paul Westerberg? R.E.M. when they really jam?? With the band, Shellye Valauskas possesses that mysterious “something else” that might just make her musical future bright.”
“The Stupid Truth (10-song CD released by The Volare Label), I've been a Shellye Valauskas fan for years, but somehow I've only ever seen her play solo, never with the full band she's had for a long while now. What I've been missing! Valauskas' voice can be alternately gruff and girlish, confessional and pop-smart. Having background harmonies and guitar lines that rub right up against the vocals certainly don't hurt these tortured love songs. The lovelorn lyrics still come through clearly. In fact, the poppy production makes them less mopey, more enjoyable. Especially when Valauskas' choruses are so catchy and commercial. This is well-produced disk that stops just short of slick. There are pings and strings and nasty guitar licks floating through and fleshing out Blame; a song about emptiness. Local guitarist Dean Falcone is the ideal secret weapon here--he strengthens the melodies but doesn't tear them into rock territory.”
““ Her voice soared and her guitar made left and right turns that were fun to follow and hard to ignore . . . there is an aura that surrounds her and her guitar." ”
“Shellye Valauskas plays a solo acoustic set that has an insightful pop sensibility which allows her to steer clear of that dreaded musical disease, Folk Mopery. Very refreshing." ”