Lori McKenna

Pieces of Me

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The first item that recommends Lori McKenna on Pieces of Me is her voice. It cracks and breaks, digging deep into emotions on songs like "Never Die Young," making sure the listener understands the import of the words before he or she has bothered to read the lyric sheet. Her cracking voice will also remind a few of Alanis Morissette on rocking selections like "Pink Sweater," though McKenna developed her singing style before Jagged Little Pill came along. After her voice, a listener will more than likely notice the well-written songs, complete with good melodies and lively arrangements. The angry rock guitar of "Pink Sweater" easily converts into the quiet piano of "Deserving Song." Theme-wise, this is very much a singer/songwriter effort, complete with sensitive songs about relationships, self-revelation, and how things never turn out exactly as planned. There are nice phrases like, "I have been a poet all my life/With really not too much to say," from the title track. But what really makes this track work is the way McKenna fills each word with fervor and passion. Clearly she's an artist who embodies what she writes. So whether one is searching for another singer/songwriter to interpret this crazy mixed-up world or an ardent singer capable of bringing home the emotional goods, Pieces of Me delivers.

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