The final week of the genome project kicks off without any of the complexity of last Friday’s focus, Elvis Costello.
Miranda Lambert doesn’t blend genres and influences — she’s a country girl, through and through. ‘Country Plus,’ to use my designation, and she earns the ‘plus’ through the songwriting and performing chops that have lifted her to the top of the charts and onto countless critics’ best-of lists.
By the time Miranda Lambert released her fourth solo album (and fifth straight album to debut at #1 on the country charts — a record), she was country music royalty.
She and Blake Shelton had overtaken Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as country’s preeminent power couple, she’d won more than 20 awards from the Grammys, CMT’s, CMA’s, ACM’s and all the rest, and she’d been widely accepted as the next Loretta Lynn. In fact, when Lynn presented her with one of those awards, it was viewed in the industry as a symbolic passing of the torch.
Top Ten Songs of 2011 – #9
Miranda Lambert’s Four the Record is my favorite album of 2011, so it might seem weird that its only song on my top ten countdown is sitting at #9.
But I think the album’s overall strength and consistency keeps it from having the sort of standout track that places higher on a list like this. I could have easily chosen the compelling ‘Mama’s Broken Heart,’ the aching ‘Look at Miss Ohio,’ the old-school ‘Same Old You’ or any of a dozen other songs to represent this great record.
I got a sense of the risks Miranda Lambert is taking on her new album, Four the Record, when I played the second track for my daughters.
The song, ‘Fine Tune,’ is a bluesy come-on with thick drums, a wailing lead guitar and a distortion effect on Lambert’s vocals — it’s more White Stripes than ‘White Liar.’ My girls, who are almost as big Miranda Lambert fans as I am, scrunched up their faces and said “Turn this off!” and “It hurts my ears!”