Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Kalie Shorr

  • Slingshot [Kalie Shorr EP, 2017] **
  • Open Book [Kalie Shorr, 2019] A
  • I Got Here by Accident [Kalie Shorr EP, 2021] A

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Slingshot [Kalie Shorr EP, 2017]
Five exercises in the oft-true truism that "Girls want boys that don't want them back," with a namecheck for John Mayer, who back in 2017 she still had her eye on musically ("Fight Like a Girl," "Nothin New") **

Open Book [Kalie Shorr, 2019]
A Nashville Song Suffragette from Portland and I mean Maine, Shorr is yet another smart young woman who might once have been a sharp-tongued folkie but knows Nashville is where that way of music still has a life worth living. This Pistol Annies tryout isn't "Americana," though I hope she's too market-wise to admit it. Nor is it the strophic significance-mongering now on the rise from Jessica Pratt's deliberate quietude to Cate Le Bon's arch gentility to Aldous Harding's retiring obscurantism. Shorr avoids playing her smallish voice cute except maybe when buttering up that blue-eyed honey in L.A. who she'll never forget the way she forgot his name. From "Everybody needs an escape and mine was leaving" to "I've been taking advice from my vices," she's a woman with more killer lines than are good for her. But she's so set on self-knowledge that she attaches them to a broken home on the poor side of town, a sister who ODs, and her "weird relationship" with her dad. She's never more indelible than when she's all "F U Forever." But she sings her last words as an "Angry Butterfly": "And when I clawed my way out/I was changed, I was changed." A

I Got Here by Accident [Kalie Shorr EP, 2021]
Do not get into a catfight with this woman, a dogfight either. With a mouth like that she'd tear you to shreds. "He wasn't over me when you were under him." "I heard you got a girl . . . pregnant." "I hate the way I love the way this feels." "Seven half brothers and sisters/With our glasses all half filled." "I don't have a fast car/But I'll fuckin' find one/If you need to get away." That's a snippet apiece from the five songs here, not one of which I've given away. She's a state-of-Mainer who not only namechecks Woodstock and references Nirvana but took both to the Nashville where she's seeking a fortune I hope she can handle. A