On past records and collaborations, Maria Taylor has shown tremendous promise. Her promise is fulfilled on her new album, “Ladyluck”. There honestly is not any filler on this record. Each song stands on its own, with varying degrees of heartbreak and lines uttered by all of us after the end of a breakup. Her relationship with indie whiz kid Conor Oberst is over, and this record serves as a full account of the emotional collapse that accompanies lost love. This new CD is peppered with lines that sound so familiar, and help to recall the fresh ache of rejection from the last person it should come from.
The album opener and title track set the theme for the record. The regret in this song is palpable, and the thought that “ I still prayed we could make it work” has probably been on the minds of everybody that has been in her place. Another thought surfaces on the next track, “Time Life Lifeline”. The idea that it all ends in a staggering instant is brought to life with the lines “Just like that, it’s done” and “seven years combined, it’s just the flicker of a neon sign”. The next logical step is dealing with the aftermath, and “tossing and turning, I can’t make my mind sleep” from the song “ My Favorite…Love” is simple and relatable for the wide-awake nights of the jilted. The cycle is complete with the quiet reflection of “that look on your face, I never thought I’d find” from “Broad Daylight”.
The raw feelings on this album are overpowering, but does not bury the talent contained within. Most of the album was done with Bright Eyes stalwart Mike Mogis, who provides an ethereal backdrop for Taylor’s eye stinging lyrics. But the most contagious effort is the airy “Green Butterfly” with back up by Nik Frietas. This song should hopefully spur more digging on him. He’s definitely worth a second look. The most famous cameo comes courtesy of Michael Stipe, on the closer, “Cartoons and Forever Plans”. With the words, “I’m not as fragile as I thought”, and “My love will never die”, one gets the feeling that she will just fine.
With this album, Taylor has found a place to bury the hurt, and has left the comfort of Oberst’s label, Saddle Creek, for a new life and locale. She left her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama early in her career, settling in Athens, Georgia. Her new home of Los Angeles provides her a base for a fresh start. This is evident on the tune, “It’s Time”. This album is anchored by a rough experience, but is still a delight because the idea that breakups can’t be beneficial is proved wrong this time by a girl ready to start over and maybe find love again.