Mary Lee Kortes’ voice [has] the high-mountain sunshine of Dolly Parton, with a sweet-iron undercoat of Chrissie Hynde…
…there’s definitely no better or more diverse songwriter than Mary Lee Kortes working right now, anywhere in the world. Pretty impressive for someone known primarily as a spine-tingling, crystalline singer. Soaring and savagely lyrical…there are as many levels of meaning in Kortes’ songcraft as there are in her vocals.
One of the most compelling voices in modern rock.
Transparency reigns in the songs of Mary Lee Kortes. On the album “700 Miles” (Bar/None), her voice is clear, her lyrics direct and her music poised and tuneful…. With flickers of wry humor, she sings about love and hopes and memories in songs so meticulously crafted they sound completely natural.
700 Miles puts the spotlight back on Mary Lee Kortes’s songwriting. And a good thing too. Starting with The Nothing Song, a slice of Buddhist pop, Kortes proves the acclaim she has received in America is well deserved. The most surprising moment is the funky More Stupider. The minimal chorus is worthy of Prince at his peak.
…last year’s Blood on the Tracks, Mary Lee’s Corvette’s bold interpretation of the 1975 Dylan album of the same name, now has a worthy successor in 700 Miles…. The uncluttered yet often imaginatively textured arrangements are a big plus, too, placing the focus where it ought to be — on Kortes’s enchanting voice and tale-spinning.
Kortes’ greatest strength is brainy, poetic lyrics that can be as chilling as Emily Dickinson or as inflamed as Pablo Neruda. Kortes has certainly traveled far and has emerged as a true original with a bold, daring spirit.
…a lovely, nuanced voice and deft storytelling…. Mary Lee Kortes and her stellar band are back to Kortes’ own artful and catchy pop-folk-rock musings, and that is a wonderful thing.
Kortes displays her strong voice, as both a singer and a writer, throughout 700 Miles. Using her sweet yet steely voice, she conveys the sense of yearning in standout love songs.
Kortes possesses the persona of the most durable singer/songwriters. Honest, direct and supremely engaging songs take hold from first hearing, imbued with melodies that resonate with both urgency and intrigue.
A masterful songwriter.