You can now read 10 articles a month for free. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Album Review | Folk/country

Lori McKenna, ‘Massachusetts’

In “Make Every Word Hurt,” Lori McKenna demands that if you plan on breaking her heart, you can at least do her the courtesy of not padding it with pleasantries. It’s a virtue the Stoughton native has long valued, and it’s in ample supply on “Massachusetts.” She doesn’t just tell the man she’s leaving “You ain’t worth the spit in my mouth when I scream out your name” in “Salt,” she incorporates that line into the chorus, while the first verse of “How Romantic Is That” details a hastily-executed wedding with almost ruthless efficiency. The latter song, along with “Better With Time” and “Grown Up Now,” picks up another recurring thread of McKenna’s: unsentimental but fiercely defended domestic love. Working with a folk/country palette that would benefit from more clarity, Mark Erelli’s production is a little soft, though it can’t suppress her sharp songwriting or her piercing warble. If anything, it only serves to hide the sting. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Make Every Word Hurt”

Lori McKenna performs at the Sinclair April 23.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week