13 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Kalie Shorr released a handful of tracks, mixtapes, and EPs before arriving at her confessional country-pop approach, distinctly influenced by emo and ’90s alt rock, which fits her well. She teased that direction on last year's Awake before going all in on Open Book, her full-length debut. True to the title, she’s said that the songs’ confrontational, diaristic details are her way of processing her own family tragedy and romantic betrayal, and she co-produced the album with Skip Black, merging spiky guitar sounds with energetic acoustic instrumentation. “Messy,” a piano ballad postmortem of the breakup, is bewildered and biting, but the pop-punk-leaning “F U Forever” is especially savage and clever: “Now I’m wearing your stupid ring on my pretty little middle finger,” she gloats, “so I can say F U forever.” “Escape” surveys varieties of self-medication, “Gatsby” pinpoints the dishonesty bound up in likability, and “Angry Butterfly” has the swagger and youthful intensity of someone who’s newly harnessed the power of her feelings.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Kalie Shorr released a handful of tracks, mixtapes, and EPs before arriving at her confessional country-pop approach, distinctly influenced by emo and ’90s alt rock, which fits her well. She teased that direction on last year's Awake before going all in on Open Book, her full-length debut. True to the title, she’s said that the songs’ confrontational, diaristic details are her way of processing her own family tragedy and romantic betrayal, and she co-produced the album with Skip Black, merging spiky guitar sounds with energetic acoustic instrumentation. “Messy,” a piano ballad postmortem of the breakup, is bewildered and biting, but the pop-punk-leaning “F U Forever” is especially savage and clever: “Now I’m wearing your stupid ring on my pretty little middle finger,” she gloats, “so I can say F U forever.” “Escape” surveys varieties of self-medication, “Gatsby” pinpoints the dishonesty bound up in likability, and “Angry Butterfly” has the swagger and youthful intensity of someone who’s newly harnessed the power of her feelings.

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