Mess+Noise album review: Jackie Marshall – ‘Ladies’ Luck’, June 2010

An album review for Mess+Noise. Excerpt below.

Jackie Marshall - Ladies' Luck album coverJackie MarshallLadies’ Luck

There’s a trick Jackie Marshall and her band use sparingly, yet I fall for it every time. On ‘The Ugly Man’ and ‘Excuse Me Mister’, the songs peter away to their bare bones before the band unexpectedly lean into inspired instrumental codas. They’re the cherries atop already strong songs, yet their presence benefits both compositions greatly. On Ladies’ Luck, Jackie Marshall’s second album, the singer’s tender tales are given a shot in the arm by the Black Alles Band, whose muscular backing contrasts well against Marshall’s striking voice (which she refers to as “Dolly Parton meets Patti Smith”). These are rock songs flecked by country and folk influences. The Black Alles Band rope in saxophones, Hammond organs, glockenspiels and occasional string sections to provide a sense of depth, without ever over-crowding the mix.

Lyrically, the lines between honest self-appraisal and comical exaggeration are frequently blurred, like on ‘Just Like DeeDee’s Wife (“Fell asleep in clothes I been wearing much too long/Wishing I had clean underwear to put on”) and ‘Excuse Me Mister’ (“Flowers can burst out of the desert sand/ Me? I come alive for a good man’s hands”). The hook here is not just Marshall’s lucid storytelling, but her shape-shifting delivery.

Full review at Mess+Noise. Check out Jackie Marshall on MySpace. ‘Ladies’ Luck‘ video embedded below.

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