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Pop/Rock - Released January 27, 1998 | Work

For many years in the alternative revolution of the early '90s, Mary Lou Lord was touted as the next big thing by those in the know, but she never delivered a full-length album, preferring to turn out a series of indie EPs on Kill Rock Stars. It wasn't until 1998 that she released her full-length debut, Got No Shadow. While many of the titles on the album may be familiar to longtime fans -- "Lights Are Changing," "Some Jingle Jangle Morning," "Western Union Desperate," "Subway" -- the clean, polished sound of Got No Shadow might come as surprise. But the production actually does a nice job of opening up her sound, making it accessible like a Shawn Colvin record without losing integrity. Some critics may carp that Lord wrote or co-wrote seven of the 13 tracks of the record, with the rest of the songs devoted to covers of her longtime associate Nick Saloman (the Bevis Frond), and one tune apiece from Elizabeth Cotton ("Shake Sugaree") and Freedy Johnston ("The Lucky One"), but that has the effect of strengthening the album, since there isn't a weak song here. Lord has a sweet, thin voice that is surprisingly versatile, and she delivers Saloman's songs as convincingly as her own. Got No Shadow is a little subdued, but Lord's charming performances, clever lyrics, and catchy melodies prove remarkably resonant. It may not have the unvarnished appeal of the early EPs and tapes, but Got No Shadow was worth waiting for. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

Folk/Americana - Released June 4, 2015 | Mary Lou Lord


Alternative & Indie - Released August 6, 2008 | Wonderdrug Records


Folk/Americana - Released February 14, 2015 | Mary Lou Lord

Pop - Released February 1, 2000 | Kill Rock Stars

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Well, here's a somewhat unexpected CD. Three songs each from two pop faves who float just a bit beneath the radar of the elusive star-making tastes of America's mass audience. First up is Boston's Mary Lou, whose God-given way with cover songs involves a propensity for diluting nearly any song she chooses; she's a musical food processor with one speed: liquefy. A prime example is the way she smoothes the edge right off of Lucinda Williams' "Hard Road," transforming it from a savory Southern pecan pie to a cutesy, gelatinous marshmallow puff. Her short list of original compositions isn't added to here either; Lord's three songs, including the aforementioned "Hard Road," are all covers. Sean Na Na fares a bit better, scoring one of his biggest hits here with "Princess and the Pony," a charismatic song in which Tillman ruminates on his eventual funeral party blowout. Tillman also tries his hand at songwriter "Lucky" Jeremy Allen's "My Old France," arranging a full band around Allen's spare, acoustic song. © Bryan Carroll /TiVo