Thursday, February 26, 1998

Review - Got No Shadow

Artist: Mary Lou Lord

Posted on Thu, Feb 26, 1998 at 4:00 AM

Boston singer-songwriter Mary Lou Lord's earnestness could easily be lost in a chilled breeze outside the coffeehouse door. Her delivery is inoffensive, and her world-weary perspective saves her from the overwrought trappings of modern folk-pop.

"Got No Shadow" is Lord's first major-label release after she earned her stripes as the poster girl for New York indie-label Kill Rock Stars (noted for its roster of softened post-punks like herself). She avoids possible sell-out criticisms by doing what she does best -- painting pictures of despair and realization over lazy melodic canvases. Acoustically breezy and fuzzed-out through cheap amplifiers, Lord's guitar-based songs relate tales of junkie boyfriends, and sinking girlfriends in bar brawls and staged falls. There's swill for the swine and pills for the mind. More rhythm and booze for the girls, she sings in "The Throng of Blowtown," a Studio 54-era ode.

As a whole, "Got No Shadow" is strong pop reverie for the tragically inclined, with a sense of life reborn through the haze of an intoxicated, and undoubtedly informed, stare.

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