Trouble is Bonnie McKee's debut studio album that was released on September 28, 2004 by Reprise Records.


  1. Trouble 4:03
  2. When It All Comes Down 4:05
  3. Open Your Eyes 4:59
  4. Somebody 4:11
  5. A Voice That Carries 4:48
  6. Honey 4:45
  7. Green Grass 4:20
  8. January 4:07
  9. Marble Steps 4:27
  10. Sensitive Subject Matter 4:05
  11. I Hold Her 3:09
  12. Confessions Of A Teenage Girl 2:55

Album Background[]

Bonnie McKee first recorded her album in New York City with producer Bob Power across eight months.

Then she was introduced to producer Rob Cavallo, who served as Reprise artists and repertoire man, and went to Los Angeles with him, first to record Trouble lead single "Somebody". The result was enough for them to re-record the whole album, taking a whole year in the process.

Reprise Records wasn't sure on how to promote McKee, with the singer herself admitting that "I was a teenage rebel rock star-but writing these heartfelt singer/songwriter songs. I was given a dress code because everyone thought I was 'too sexy.' No one knew what to do with me."

The label at first considering to showcase her in adult contemporary radio, based on her life history and style influenced by Fiona Apple.

To determine how successful this would be, Reprise had a partnership with internet radio website LAUNCHcast, which would include the song "Somebody" into the adult contemporary playlists, as well as showcasing the song to other listeners.

The result had "Somebody" being popular more with a younger audience than the adult females that the label expected, with the song eventually becoming the 10th most played on LAUNCHcast and McKee entering the 50 most searched terms on the website's owner Yahoo!.

A new strategy was devised, trying to make McKee appeal to the teen pop demographic while showcasing a subversive attitude; this was illustrated by the album cover with McKee blowing a bubble gum, which the singer describes as "a bit of a play on the bubblegum pop thing, except it looks kind of like a mug shot."

The album title was an allusion to McKee's wild life, saying: "'Trouble' was my middle name. It was such a hard time for me. Before I got the deal, I had a very difficult teen life as a drug addict and a runaway."

Along with "Somebody" (which was featured on the soundtrack album of the 2004 film "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!"), the title track "Trouble" was also a single.

Chart Performance[]

"Trouble" did not appear to make any album charts at all.

Critical Reception[]

Johnny Loftus of Allmusic gave "Trouble" a lukewarm review, saying: "McKee's lyrics about adolescent empowerment and the ways of the heart aren't too different from what's already out there. But the songs still share the album's affected quality. It's as if the quirkier arrangements are intended as image builders, designed to add a spunky flair to the tousled, sassy McKee. Pop music doesn't require very much substance -- it's meant to be inviting, familiar, and easily accessible. But while Bonnie McKee's debut features an ultra-modern sound that's been proven successful, its homogenization ends up working against it. Pretty but ultimately empty, Trouble doesn't establish McKee as anything more than another hopeful."

Tom Lanham of Paste magazine praised the album, which he considered "a great little folk-pop-punk album".

MTV would later describe the album as "an astonishingly precocious (and criminally underrated) set of soulful pop-rock gems".

However, despite good reviews, the album disappointed commercially, moving fewer than 17,000 copies.

McKee was subsequently dropped from Reprise Records. McKee spoke about the album being unsuccessful, saying, "It was devastating when the album didn't happen," she said. "I realized there are so many steps from getting a deal to having a hit...and I didn't get there. It was a huge letdown."

Reflecting on the album's underperformance considering her eventual success as a songwriter, McKee stated that "had Trouble done what I wanted it to, I may have been caught in Hot AC land forever, which is just not my style."