It’s obvious Megan Lacy (guitar) has a well-articulated vocal style with an aching poignancy which lends itself to country admirably. “Mama says she doesn’t need my help,” is a strong opening line. But Megan is a singer-songwriter who with her well-crafted lyrics nevertheless suffers under slow pondering melodies that fail to captivate as well as they should over the long-haul.
Is this bad? No, not entirely. She needs an arrangement adjustment. Megan has a good voice & none of these songs are poorly created. They’re actually songs that just need a little icing, some confectionary touch to bring out the flavor.
Producer Justin Douglas (pedal steel/dobro) does a fine production job, but the pacing is in danger of failing to keep listeners interested long. There’s little to distinguish the musicians Christopher Cox (bass/keys), Aaron Parks (drums/percussion), & Jordan Burchill (lead guitar). Most of the playing is sublime.
“Carolina,” is pleasant but the word is repeated too many times when a cool story could’ve unfolded with more colorful language. The melody is arresting. Megan’s voice has a good tone & is smooth. It’s just not exciting as the song is arranged. Her intonation, phrasing is neutralized. High & low notes are nominal.
This debut EP Salvation – (Drops March 5-Independent) includes “No Better,” & while still a slow one with no evocative arrangement it’s a lovely song. Maybe these need to be sung live more to find their nutrients. Megan is described as “haunting” & she is at times. She needs to haunt melodically, vocally & then she has to scare some ears with some engaging lyrics.
What am I saying? All 5 cuts are subtle despite their individual loveliness. At times Megan holds some charming notes but not often enough. More to the point: the late Judee Sill (“The Kiss” & “Jesus Was a Cross-maker”) is a fine example of the expressiveness Megan needs to fill her songs with to make them blossom like a morning rose.
The melodies are there, the lyrics have significance. She just needs to “get into them” more & convince listeners she’s not just singing words but means them.
Every track is slow. No rollicking moments where even the musicians are showcased. It’s late-night fodder on FM radio – with no wow factor. Strong material that still needs development – like black espresso coffee which needs a drop of Sambuca to give it punch – not aggression, punch. She should emphasize certain words more & find the lyric that has importance.
I like Megan. She sings better than most artists but needs energy & spirit in her writing. Especially for an entire LP. Judging from how she approaches her songs right now she’d be suited as a lounge singer with cocktail jazz. She needs some Edith Piaf enthusiasm. Cassandra Wilson embers. Then, stand back.
The 21-minute EP is available at https://www.meganlacymusic.com/merch