Lori Carson

Where It Goes

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Well, she's not exactly a household name, but she's known in hip circles as the latest in a long and distinguished line of singers for downtown supergroup the Golden Palominos. And true to New York tradition, she's not about to sound cheerful or anything like that. The most obvious stylistic referent is Counting Crows, believe it or not -- lots of studied and solipsistic sadness that gets by on irresistible tunefulness just before it starts irritating you. In fact, Carson's "Down Here" (the lead track on her debut album) sounds suspiciously like a rewrite of the Crows' "Round Here" (the lead track on their debut album). Song titles like "Twisting My Words" and "Fell Into the Loneliness" pretty much tell you what to expect, but when Carson wraps her lovely voice around a lyric as affecting as that in "You Won't Fall," the effect is irresistible. In fact, throughout the album it's her light, effortless delivery and her winning melodicism that consistently keep the music's head above water, and even though she has a few moments of off-putting preciousness (at certain points sounding almost like Lisa Germano at her worst), there is simply no arguing with the transcendent grace of songs like "Down Here" and "Anyday."

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