Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Mary Lou Lord

  • Got No Shadow [Work, 1998] A-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Got No Shadow [Work, 1998]
Only indie perverts would hyperventilate over Lord's breathy voice, which needs every booster jet mind can devise or money can buy. And only indie perverts would object to her long-aborning major-label debut, where she gets the help she needs. The production is Amy Rigby-style neotraditionalism, with Roger McGuinn rippling under one flowing surge just to mark the concept, and, overcoming her fondness for Nick Saloman (Bevis Frond, don't you know anything?), she makes the most of covers from Elizabeth Cotten to Freedy Johnston. Equally impressive, every once in a while she finds the gumption to eke out a song so winsomely conceived and solidly constructed it belongs in the canon she adores. Sometimes Saloman even helps--the cowritten lead track is a hummer worthy of Stuart Musgrove (Belle and Sebastian, don't you know anything at all?). A-