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Bittertown

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 27, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

This songwriter and mother of four, who lives a stones throw from the town she grew up in, doesn't fit into any stereotype. She's garnered comparisons to Lucinda Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Dashboard Confessional, and Roseanne Cash. Her songs, as solid as Georgia oak, are played and sung with an emotional grit under the nails that comes from digging in life's mundane and less illuminated holes. These songs grab you with Lori's signature strident, soulful, and unapologetic vocals sharing earnest observations and stories of growing up and growing old, of loves and losses, winners and losers, guns and god, and drinkers and dreamers in a town that is resting uncomfortably between its blue collar roots and modern suburbia. Incapable of artifice, Lori McKenna speaks of the bitter and the sweet, but doesn't simply write songs, she documents her life, and in turn ours, in word and melody. Meet Lori McKenna and welcome to Bittertown. Reprise. 2005.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000BBOFEA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,447 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD
There are few stages more glamorous than the Allen Room of the Time Warner Center, with musicians performing in front of a floor-to-ceiling, 50-by-90-foot window wall. And on a chilly January night, with a full moon acting as a background light, it's impossible not to feel monumentally alive as you wait for a show to start here --- open to whatever the performer can bring you, eager to process that gift.

But what gift do I expect from Lori McKenna? I was young when I fled the suburbs, and I still shudder at the memory; the few songs of McKenna's that I've heard celebrate domestic life in `burbs like Stoughton, Massachusetts, where she grew up and still lives. My marital history is checkered; she has five kids with her husband of 19 years. But the sinking feeling doesn't really hit me until McKenna comes out in a nice-girl party dress, sensible grey patent heels and a small cross --- it's what she wore the first time she played the Grand Old Opry, but she could easily wear again if she chaperoned on prom night.

Why was I there? Because Lori McKenna, who didn't sing in public until she was 27, got hit with the lucky stick. Faith Hill put three of her songs on a CD, and then Tim McGraw, Faith's husband, produced Lori's new CD, "Unglamorous," for a big label with real money for promotion. And a friend heard her --- her fifth CD, that is --- and fell in love with it, and got tickets, and couldn't go, which is how I found myself, a few rows from the stage, looking more or less directly in Lori McKenna's eyes.

The questions of the evening:

Is Lori McKenna as good as her devotees --- she's got them, and they're fervent; just look at the comments on her web site or on Amazon.com --- say she is? If so, did she really get lucky when Nashville smiled on her?
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This is simply one of the best CDs to appear in the past decade. Whoever your favorite singer/songwriter -- Bruce Springsteen, Richard Thompson, John Prine -- Lori, on this album, holds her own. She's that good. I saw her open for Shawn Colvin two years ago and went out and bought this disc afterwards. The angry "Bible Song," the gun-shy "Mr. Sunshine," the tender "One Man" (a beautiful love song) and "If You Ask," the haunting "Pour," the bittersweet "Stealing Kisses," the brisk "One Kiss Goodnight" ... all combine thoughtful lyrics, memorable melodies, and first-rate musicianship. What more can you ask for from a songwriter? Amazon needs to load some samples so more people can discover this gem. Meanwhile, buy it on faith.
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Format: Audio CD
At first it may sound like a country album- then there are hints of indie rock.... and Lori Mckenna unabashedly teeters fences by being herself without the heavy handed influence of anyone.

this record is emotional, this record is hometown without being homey. this record is about coming from a small town, but not necessarily being part of it.

there is so much music potential on this disc- it could be played on country stations, indie rock stations, college radio, and world cafe. Lori Mckenna perfectly puts together an album that was my favorite of 2005.

*** and the artwork is PERFECT (which really does set the tone for any record, in my opinion)
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Format: Audio CD
One of the best song writers of our generation, she speaks for the 'mom' crowd. Even Faith Hill loves her as 3 of Faith's songs off of 'FireFly' are written by Lori. Get it and enjoy.
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