Chin Up Buttercup
The Winnipeg native finally returns after another interminable wait—five years each between her breakthrough Stuff and the spottily powerful Home is Where My Feet Are. She’s been divorced and had a second child in the latter time, so she comes back with plenty of material. A single producer, Jeff Dawson, helps in the cohesion department. The anger that made McNarland famous opens the record (“So Cold”), but is tempered by a more reflective, regretful mood throughout, hitting the heartache button perfectly on “Dry as a Bone” and “Sad Songs.” As always, the voice is the thing—breathy on the rough spots, soaring when the point needs to be driven.