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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend [Explicit]
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"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
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One of the reasons this album is so exceptional, is that Lambert wrote or co-wrote 8 of the 11 songs, and the only thing she does better than singing is songwriting. Perhaps this understanding of the songs is the reason that her singing comes across with so much conviction.
1. Gunpowder and Lead, 4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - fast-paced, and the only two songs that deviate slightly from Lambert's "old-country" feel and sound more contemporary. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" could almost be called a sequel to "Kerosene." These will likely be the only radio-friendly singles. Given the chorus, they could just as easily have been sung by Gretchen Wilson, however a closer look at the lyrics show that despite the tempo of the music, these songs have a much more serious nature at second glance.
2. Dry Town, 3. Famous in a Small Town - A closer look at Lambert's life growing up in Longview, Texas.
5. Love Letters, 6. Desperation, 7. More Like Her - These are the only three songs written entirely by Lambert, and lyrically, are the best songs on the album. The tone in all three is pretty different, but they all have the quality of exceptional writing, that somehow the producers were able to put to fairly good music. "Love Letters" is a true country ballad, yet retains a modern feel.
8. Down, 9. Guilty in Here - Somewhat forgettable songs, but they grow on you and are still fairly good.
10. Getting Ready, 11. Easy From Now On - Lambert did not co-write either of these songs, which is unfortunate since they are two of the best on the album. "Easy From Now On" is probably my favorite musical track, and I enjoy her version even more than the one originally sung by EmmyLou Harris.
Ultimately, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is a follow up well-worthy of Lambert and showcases some exceptional songwriting and vocal talent. This is not traditional country music filled with ridiculously cheesy lyrics and the same chorus every 30 seconds, but introspective writing and an excellent followup from this rising young artist.