Lori McKenna - Lorraine

I’ve had Lori McKenna’s new record Lorraine for about a week, and I finally think I can write about it. This review will forego the conventions of my previous ones; in other words, I’m not afraid to gush here at The Buzz About.

This is one of the best records released this year, if not the best. And this review will not do it justice. Just buy the damn thing. It’ll be the best ten bucks you spend all year.

I got to see Lori last week at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, and I was fortunate enough to get a copy of Lorraine still warm from the printers. It had arrived only a few days previous on Lori’s back porch. She spoke about the process openly at Passim, noting that she scrapped the record and started over again. The final product is, in my opinion anyway, Lori’s finest release yet, and by a landslide. The songs that she’s collected on this record fit together like puzzle pieces, the end result being a damn fine representation of what it is to love and lose in the American landscape.

I find myself attached to each song for very different reasons, but every song matters just as much as the title track. There are no throwaway songs on this record, and that’s never the case. Even with our favorite artists, there’s always a few songs we could do without. But not with Lorraine. Be it the piano ballad (“If He Tried”), the love song to small towns (“Buy This Town”), or the song for hard working lovers (“All I Ever Do”), it’s impossible to find a flaw with this record. These are Lori’s finest songs yet.

Speaking to the title track, McKenna recalled something singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier told her; that you had to “put your mama in your songs” if you wanted to go to heaven. Well, if this record doesn’t grant Lori McKenna a ticket to the pearly gates, you might find yourself reconsidering the infrastructure of your belief system.

It’s really that good. Buy Lorraine now.

Fore more information, check out www.lorimckenna.com

The Buzz tracks:  “You Get A Love Song”, “Still Down Here”, “Lorraine”

10

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