Kristina Murray's honeyed vocals and bright guitar style can be deceiving on Unravelin,' especially as conduits for angry tirades and tales of all-night benders. But her vocal artistry tempers words that can feel like parodies of old-fashioned country-and-Western lyrics: "You're a cheater and a bastard, and I can't tell you a thing," she spews on "I Can't Recall," a very bitter song anchored by some very pretty singing. "Nothin' but Wrong," meanwhile, features Murray easily singing up and down scales as she sets out her complaints against an ex, and "The Year Georgia Ran Dry" is as straight country as you can get, both musically and lyrically. But there's more to this album than a C&W ingenue simply following traditional cues. The eleven tracks reveal a vocalist and guitarist with a distinct style. Murray's spirited vocals, along with the work of a top-notch backup band, deliver a passion that goes deeper than simple stories about booze and breakups.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.