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Label: Independent / eOne Music

Release Date: January 31, 2020

Rating: 88%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I don’t get a lot of country stuff across my desk, but when I saw the cool video for “FU Forever” from relative newcomer Kalie Shorr, I knew I wanted to check out her latest release.  After a couple EP’s, Kalie dropped a full length digitally in September 2019 with a physical release and push in early 2020.  Disc opener “Too Much To Say” unfolds like a lot of modern country radio material, but as soon as the bridge between verse and chorus hit, we get a mature sounding Shorr showing off her vocals chops and even hinting at some of her influences.  The vocal is cool and shows off different sides of her talent.  The video and single that started it all for me, “FU Forever,” never gets old and is as fun to sing along to every time I listen through.  The fun and flighty vocals perfectly deliver the sentiment of the lyrics without sounding too planned, plotted, and expected.  The guitar work on this one keep some country tinge in the track that wants to soar and begs to be a pop crossover.  “Gatsby” is another track that leans on the vocal delivery and allows us to catch different glimpses of Kalie’s different textures and tones, within the same track.  When given the opportunity to dig deep and go for a slightly heavier vocal, Shorr delivers.  Disc closer “Angry Butterfly” opens and sounds more hard rock than country, but it adds a bit of punch as the collection comes to a close.  As we get into the chorus, the country shines through and reminds us of the good stuff Shorr brings to the table vocally.

“Escape” is a song that digs in each time I listen through the disc.  The lyrics are poignant and emotional and Shorr perfectly delivers the message from discussing her parents, her siblings, dark secrets, and other personal issues on this track that helps point to the disc title.  This is a track that will stick with me for some time.  “The One” is a mellower track that takes the easier way our with a vocal that shows us the singer / songwriters upper register a bit and softer side.  The chorus is contagious and draws you in and allows you to sing along from the first listen.  “Alice In Wonderland” has a cool country pop crossover vibe woven into it that should please her fans and help attract a few new ones.  The musical accompaniment perfectly supports the vocal and allows her to flex her vocal muscles at the verse and also gives her room to run lyrically while being a bit introspective.  “Big Houses” is a mellow track that gives us a listen to Kalie’s beautiful voice with a great musical counterpart that allows her to shine.  The layered vocals on the chorus gives the track some depth.  “Thank God You’re A Man” has a different vibe woven into its musical DNA, but it helps demonstrate another side of the singers voice and reflects a harder edge of her songwriting side.

“Messy” takes us inside the singers head and heart with vocals that reflect the emotionally charged lyrics.  The piano interlude that supports the verse helps drive the sound forward without being overproduced.  The upper register of Kalie’s voice straddles the chorus and helps carry the track.  “The World Keeps Spinning” has a darker sound spun into the vibe of the track, but the vocals come into the picture and help elevate the track.  The cadence from the drums keep the verse chugging along while the slide guitars on the chorus give the song an injection of old school country feel.  While different from most tracks on the collection, it fits in perfectly among the other twelve songs.  “Vices” is another song that seems to deviate from the path cut by the other songs, but the minute the chorus kicks in, the song rallies and shows off country pop flashes of sound that seem to be peppered throughout the disc.  “Lullaby” is another song that seems different yet fits the mold of other tracks from moment to moment.  The vocals are cool and swirl well with the guitars in the mix.  After listening through the entire disc many times, I discovered how self-realized Kalie is… with the lyrics from track to track, Shorr is definitely an open book all her fans (and anyone else that will listen) can dig into.

Tracklisting: Too Much To Say – Escape – Messy – The One – FU Forever – Alice In Wonderland – The World Keeps Spinning – Big Houses – Gatsby – Thank God You’re A Man – Vices – Lullaby – Angry Butterfly






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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