Shelter finds Lone Justice abandoning the cowpunk image of their debut in favor of a more polished '80s sound. What they came up with is rather a mishmash of material that only points the way for Maria McKee to don a solo outfit and carry on alone. Shelter falls into the trap of a record company dictating how a disc should sound no matter what might happen to the group producing it. There are strong cuts here -- most notably, "I Found Love" (a real '80s-sounding product), "Wheels," and "Dixie Storms" (which foretells Maria McKee's future in music) all have something to recommend them. The rest falls into the trap of songs produced to fulfill obligations. Lone Justice was a group not unlike Big Brother & the Holding Company, who had a great female lead singer and focal point along with competent sidemen. Once the record execs ventured to guess that McKee would sell more on her own, they urged her to jettison the band, which she did after Shelter. Such is life in the record biz.
by James Chrispell