The current musical landscape is a lot like a gigantic, prepackaged Coke machine. Rather than choosing between unique genre bending artists, the major labels simply give consumers the option of “jail bait pop sensation”, “glitzy rapper”, or “three chord punk act.” Lori McKenna is a mold breaking throwback, a songstress with everyday problems and a voice that both soothes and amazes.

I’m not exactly a Country Music fan, but as a proud Indiana resident, the genre has always held a special place in my heart due to how easily I relate to most of the subject matter. Lori McKenna takes that familiarity and runs with it over the course of eleven songs. Talk of microwave dinners, her children, and even faded curtains are spliced throughout the album, but the singer/songwriter really shines when talking about her plumber husband of nearly two decades. You can almost hear the devotion and love amidst the background of guitars on “I Know You”, and in this increasingly divorce ridden society, that is a sweet and pleasant change.

Unglamorous definitely doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but that simplicity actually proves to be incredibly endearing. At the core of every song is just an honest and open woman talking about her life. The entire album is basically the antithesis of The Pussycat Dolls. No glamour. No frills. Just a wonderful voice and a melodic, beautiful record.

Don’t expect Unglamorous to sell ten million copies or turn Lori McKenna into the next Faith Hill, but this effort does firmly entrench the mother of five in the upper echelon of Country singers. “Unglamorous” and “Your Next Lover” are both standout tracks, and the rest of the album is nothing to scoff at either.

I can’t completely recommend this album to the masses, but it’s a solid pick-up for any Country Music fan or coffee house enthusiast. The lyrics are heartfelt; the rhythms are flawlessly executed, and it’s definitely refreshing to see a musician that is genuinely worth supporting.

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