@review JIM MARTIN
Lori McKenna’s latest release, “Lorraine,” is by far her best yet. Certainly a step up from her previous release, the overproduced piece of pop fluff she recorded under the tutelage of country artist, Tim McGraw. This set, through acoustic overtones and lyrical genius, speaks directly to the heart. From rejection to redemption to reception, there’s not one human emotion this album doesn’t cover.
On her previous release, the obviously Nashville influenced “Unglamorous,” Lori made a grab at the big time, recording the same type slick and overwrought crap you can hear anytime on any Top-40 radio station. While still better than eighty percent of what now makes its way out of the famed home of country music, its style just wasn’t a fit for McKenna. Thankfully, the same cannot be said for “Lorraine.”
This album is named for her mother, who died when Lori was just seven years old. The most emotional tracks here deal with her mother’s life and death. The title track is a poignant recounting of her mother’s life, while track thirteen, “Still Down Here,” tells in detail how she imagines her mother’s first day in Heaven might be, ending with the heartfelt line, “Don’t forget about me, I’m still down here.”
Of course, there are tunes here dealing with subjects other than death. Track seven, “Buy This Town” is a nostalgic piece regarding Lori’s middle-class childhood, while track one, “The Luxury Of Knowing,” dictates the difficulties of a long-term relationship. The piano based track three, “If He Tried,” consists of the pleadings of someone who has all they need in a relationship, but still wants a little bit more.
High points: Lyrics, lyrics, lyrics! This girl can write! Low Points: Track five, “You Get A Love Song.” While it’s a good enough song, the electric musical track makes it feel like a cut intended for another album that was thrown into the mix at the last minute to take up space. It just doesn’t fit.
Overall, the acoustic feel is perfect for the heartfelt and revealing lyrics. This is music as it ought to be, played from the heart and soul with no regard to radio or to the Billboard record charts. Music made for no other reason than it just has to be.
I rate it 4 out of 5.