Lord Shows Potential, but ‘Shadow’ Remains Just That

Displaying both sympathy for the downtrodden (“Seven Sisters”) and a wry sense of humor (“Throng of Blowtown”), Mary Lou Lord lets her street-singer charm shine throughout her not entirely successful major-label debut. Collaborating with Nick Saloman, a.k.a. the veteran English psychedelic-pop act the Bevis Frond, she bolsters her simple tunes with airy, Byrdsian melodies and Dylan-esque folk-rock treatments that often seem forced and, in the end, sound generic.

Many of these songs might have been better served by an acoustic presentation, but, then again, Lord’s breathy warble sounds right at home in her bubble-gum punk tune “Some Jingle Jangle Morning” and Saloman’s folk-grunge revenge fantasy “She Had You.”

Curiously, while she’s pictured on the album cover playing her guitar, she doesn’t play a note inside, leaving those duties to Saloman and such guest stars as Roger McGuinn and Nels Cline.

“Got No Shadow” captures Lord’s potential, but it feels like an incomplete picture of what she can do.


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