Being a Brit, I’ve always looked at country music with a mixture of suspicion and ridicule. Lately though, I have found myself becoming unaccountably fond of some of it. I’ve had the Dixie Chicks album ‘Taking The Long Road’ for a while now and I like several other artists (including Ryan Adams and Patty Griffin) who have some country influences in their music. Then there are the odd country songs I’ve heard and liked, such as Carrie Underwood’s fantastic country-pop gem ‘Before He Cheats‘.
I still don’t like the cliche, fiddle-heavy country of songs about how your neighbour stole your wife and your truck but you were more upset about the truck.
That said, Miranda Lambert’s third album, Revolution, is pretty traditional country in many ways and I love it. Just listen to the song ‘Time To Get A Gun’. If there’s a more country lyric than “It’s time to get a gun / That’s what I’ve been thinking / I could afford one / If I did just a little less drinking”, I’m yet to hear it.
Miranda Lambert got her start on Nashville Star, an X Factor style show designed to find the next country superstar. They certainly succeeded, but not quite how they planned – Lambert only came third! Don’t let her reality show start put you off, as she’s a real artist. She plays guitar and wrote three tracks on this album solo as well as co-writing most of the others.
I’ve listened to her earlier albums on Spotify but found that while I liked some songs, I didn’t like enough of the songs to justify buying the album. Not so with this cd.
The album starts off strongly with ‘White Liar’, about the discovery of a cheating boyfriend, but there’s a sting in the tail – she’s been cheating too.
The other standout track for me is ‘The House That Built Me’, a beautiful understated ballad about the effect childhood has on the person you become and how important it is to remember your roots.
The story goes that Lambert was driving along with her fiance and fellow country singer Blake Shelton. The song had been sent to Shelton for consideration for his next album so he was listening to it in the car. When Lambert heard it, she started crying because it hit home, so Shelton told her she should put it on her album instead. Maybe he’d have reconsidered if he knew how successful the song was to become – apparently it was number one on the American country charts for 4 weeks and is up for GRAMMYs in 3 categories including Song of the Year.
If the country gets a bit much, there’s some country-rock on ‘That’s The Way That The World Goes ‘Round’ a cover of a John Prine song. Not being a country fan as such, I have no idea who John Prine is, but the song ramps up the rock factor. There are also more ballads such as ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘Viriginia Bluebell’.