Lori McKenna – The Bird & The Rifle

Lori Mckenna - The Bird And The Rifle

Nearly two decades into her career, Lori McKenna has had a banner year. She won the Country Music Association award for Song of the Year, the Grammy for Best Country Song (and a nomination for Song of the Year) all for Girl Crush, the hit she co-wrote for Little Big Town, and several months later, Tim McGraw hit #1 on the country chart with Humble & Kind, a song she wrote. All before the release of her ninth album The Bird & The Rifle.

The album wastes no time digging into heartache, nostalgia and the desire to escape. Immediately on the first track Wreck You, she sings “I get dressed in the dark each day/you used to think that was so sweet,” a line that presents the same action over time but with very different intents, both depicting where the relationship is standing in each. Lines like these pop up throughout the record, filled with bittersweet stories and a subtle delivery in a way that doesn’t demand your attention, but more than deserves it.

She writes from the perspective of a wife and mother, and while she’s both, the songs aren’t autobiographical. She says she’s happy, even though she writes “sad songs,” which is impressive because for 37 minutes, you’re convinced you’re looking for your own escape while reminiscing about your youth. It’s an album that captures honesty and emotion using the tiniest details that sets the scene just enough to put you right in the middle of it.
Four stars

1. Wreck You
2. The Bird & The Rifle
3. Giving Up On Your Hometown
4. Halfway Home
5. Humble & Kind
6. We Were Cool
7. Old Men Young Women
8. All These Things
9. Always Want You
10. If Whiskey Were A Woman

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