Lori McKenna - BittertownA thinly disguised portrait of Stoughton, Mass., where McKenna grew up and continues to live, the folky Bittertown captures the hopes, struggles and shattered dreams of working-class life. Like Bruce Springsteen in Darkness on the Edge of Town, she provides unflinching views of love (the tender “Pour,” in which a lover takes off with the rent) and loss (the stirring “Bible Song,” where a cousin dies leaving “40 bills and two kids to keep”). Throughout, McKenna’s bare, emotional vocals keep it all painfully real.


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