Andy Ellis | A&E Editor | 11-15-2011
Miranda Lambert is one of the most loved artists in country music today. It’s not just because she writes and sings what she wants to sing, it’s about who she is. When a majority of today’s female singers, regardless of genre, try their best to stay as supermodel-thin as possible, she’s not afraid to eat these things commonly known as full meals. She’s admitted that she has a weakness for various snacks like Cheetos. She takes in stray dogs, and is an unapologetic lover of hunting.
One thing you need to remember about country music is that the lyrical content is what helps make it a country song. It’s the lyrics that the average fan can relate to. Another thing that helps is the vocals, and Lambert’s Texan drawl helps each get its point across. My guess is because she doesn’t try to hide her accent, and her drawl adds a nice rawness to each song.
What I notice about this album and the songs on her prior albums is that it seems as though when she’s choosing songs, the ones she didn’t write, she seems to be choosing from a completely different song bank than everyone in the industry. She only had a hand in writing six of the album’s cuts, but the entire album is full of songs that you’d swear came from her pen. One of the many songs I hope becomes a single is “Mama’s Broken Heart.”
It’s the kind of fast-paced, in-your-face style that Lambert has become known for. It’s definitely hard, driving country music, and has some nice hard-hitting drums that remind me of some punk rock songs. Another song, “Over You,” is a standout not just because of its quality but because of the story behind it. This was written by both Lambert and her husband Blake Shelton about the death of his older brother years ago. She decided to record it for her album, because he knew there was no way he could get through singing that song on stage every night without breaking down. The last song I want to point out is “Better In The Long Run,” a duet with Shelton. The ballad shows how they compliment each other. Lambert has a raw drawl that evokes emotion while Shelton’s soulful voice provides a smoothness.
This album is superior when it comes to being compared against many country releases this year. While some may have a few more catchy songs, this one makes up for it in the quality of lyrics and the depth of content. Lambert has done everything her way since the start of her career, and anyone who tries to get in her way would be doing a disservice to the institution of country music.
My Grade: 5 out of 5 stars