"My songs talk about real things," says Miranda Lambert. "Things that I've been through or I've witnessed through my friends and family - even my parents' private investigation business. If I feel it, I can sing it and make anyone believe it." Big talk from a small-town Texas girl, but Lambert's got the goods to back it up. The old-school passion and power of her nearly platinum-selling 2005 debut KEROSENE took it to the top of both the country charts and the critics' polls. Now the two-time CMA Horizon Award nominee returns with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, on which she raises the stakes both musically and emotionally.
There's no sophomore slump for Miranda Lambert, who follows her chart-topping debut, Kerosene
, with a knockout punch. Both the title cut and the album-opening "Gunpowder & Lead" ("what little girls are made of") show that Lambert hasn't lost her edge or her appetite for revenge. Yet the quieter "Desperation," the more tuneful and tender "Love Letters," the wistful "More Like Her," and the primally intense "Down" show her emotional range and maturity. While her songwriting remains a strength, Lambert also displays superb taste in other people's material, with "Dry Town" (by Gillian Welch), "Getting Ready" (a new song from Patty Griffin), and "Easy from Now On" (with the lyric that provided the title to Emmylou Harris's classic Quarter Moon in a Ten-Cent Town
) reinforcing the musical quality. There isn't a throwaway cut here. --Don McLeese