Song of the Day #543: ‘More Like Her’ – Miranda Lambert

Brad Paisley has turned me country. Seriously, it’s getting out of hand. Next time you see me I’ll probably have a piece of straw between my teeth.

I recently went to Best Buy and spent the remainder of a birthday gift card on five country albums. Before that I’d probably bought a total of five country albums in my whole life. I bought two Brad Paisley CDs (I now own five total with an eye on picking up the other one soon), Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts, Lady Antebellum’s self-titled debut and Miranda Lambert’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

In a previous life I would have brought these CDs to the Best Buy counter with the same embarrassment I’d feel buying a box of condoms from an old lady at Walgreens, but now it didn’t even phase me. If the girl behind the register wanted to look down her nose ring at me for buying a Brad Paisley album, the failing was clearly hers.

As of this writing I have yet to listen to the Lady Antebellum record, so more on that later. And more on Brad Paisley later, as I’ll surely dedicate a theme week to him soon.

Underwood’s album (which I admittedly have heard only once) didn’t grab me at all. It feels very produced and more pop than country. Listening to it, I could understand why country music fans sometimes attack artists for attempting crossover records. Underwood has a great voice (she’d have to to win American Idol) but apart from the great ‘Before He Cheats,’ I just don’t hear anything memorable.

Lambert, on the other hand, is a real find. I’d read all sorts of accolades about her newest album but I chose to pick up Crazy Ex-Girlfriend because it’s the one that made her name. Like Underwood, she first achieved popularity on a reality show — Nashville Star, in her case — but unlike Underwood, she writes her own songs.

I don’t know if it’s that authenticity that makes this the better album, or if Lambert is just a better songwriter than the pros who penned Underwood’s tracks, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend left me as excited as Some Hearts left me flat. The album alternates between hard-ass tough-girl bluster and vulnerable romanticism, and Lambert pulls off both personae with ease.

‘More Like Her’ is a fine example of the latter and one of the prettiest songs on the album. I’ll return to this CD sometime soon to highlight one of the brassier tracks. After all, once you go country there’s no going back.

She’s beautiful in her simple little way
She don’t have too much to say when she gets mad
She understands she don’t let go of anything
Even when the pain gets really bad
I guess I should’ve been more like that

You had it all for a pretty little while
And somehow you made me smile when I was sad
You took a chance on a bruised and beaten heart
Then you realized you wanted what you had
I guess I should’ve been more like that

I should have held on to my pride
I should have never let you lie
I guess you got what you deserved
I guess I should’ve been more like her

Forgiving you, she’s stronger than I am
You don’t look much like a man from where I’m at
It’s plain to see desperation showed it’s truth
You love her and she loves you with all she has
I guess I should’ve been more like that

I should have held on to my pride
I should have never let you lie
I guess you got what you deserved
I guess I should’ve been more like her

She’s beautiful in her simple little way

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day #543: ‘More Like Her’ – Miranda Lambert

  1. Amy says:

    I was reading an interview with someone recently (I think it was Darius “I’m now a country boy” Rucker), who was raving about Lambert, saying she should be the next breakout country star. Seems to me she pretty much is… I hear her name all the time. So it’s nice to hear this song today, and to know that the rest of the album you like just as much.

    That said, I see no point in starting to make those same narrow-minded rejections of one type of country music over another. Carrie Underwood’s “country pop” is just as much a part of the country music scene as Miranda Lambert’s more twangy, traditional sound. I haven’t listened to “Some Hearts” enough to say much about it, but I like Underwood’s voice very much, and the first time I ever heard her, when she joined Rascall Flatts (? I think?) on some awards show where they were doing a tribute to the Eagles (I think) – I was very impressed. Maybe it is all about song choice, and it’s easier to respond to a song you know is being sung by its writer.

    I look forward to hearing what you have to say about Patsy Cline, Toby Keith, and Randy Travis in upcoming weeks. (note to self – no more gift cards for Clay!) πŸ˜‰

  2. Clay says:

    You’re right… it’s not appropriate to dismiss a whole genre (or subset of a genre) based on one album. After all, the Sugarland album I love probably fits into the same category as Underwood’s. And to be fair, I should give Underwood’s album another listen or two before finalizing my opinion on it. It just struck me as a real contrast to everything I loved about Lambert’s album. But, as you suggest, that is likely a function of song choice.

  3. Dana says:

    “Ma’am, we did all we could to save him, but we’ve lost him. He’s full on country now.”

    It’s bad enough that you’ve gone into a country tailspin, but to now only accept pure country, and not country pop? Dude, I just don’t even know what to say!

    We heard Underwood’s album while driving through Tennessee and, on first listen, I though it was quite good. In addition to the highlight “Before He Cheats,” I think “Jesus Take The Wheel” is strong, and I really enjoyed “We’re Young and Beautiful” and “I Ain’t In Checotah Anymore,” which, if not written by Underwood, may as well have been.

    Holy crap, I just realized what you are up to! You have pulled so far to the country extreme, that you have have ME admitting to liking and defending less pure but decidedly country music! Good play, Clay, good play indeed!

  4. Clay says:

    Yes, the master plan is in full effect. My next step is to swear off anything other than Hank Williams until you become a big Randy Travis fan.

    I do like the ‘Checotah’ song and ‘We’re Young and Beautiful,’ but not ‘Jesus Take the Wheel’ (that one creeps me out a little, heathen that I am). But I promise to give the album a few more spins because I do like Underwood as a singer and a personality.

  5. Amy says:

    Funny that the song that is the most quintessentially country (“Jesus Take the Wheel”) creeps you out. I mean – it sure as hell creeps me out, but I recognize that the country music artists tend to love themselves some Jesus πŸ˜‰ Meanwhile, you should definitely give in to American Idol this season, as it promises to serve up some promising new country artists to populate your future collection:

    Loving Vanessa “what’s life without a risk or two” Woolf! πŸ™‚

  6. Amy says:

    btw, Vanessa ends at 4:10. If you must watch the whole clip, you can see what AI deservedly got much criticism for… making fun of another small town country boy – the very treatment Vanessa feared. I’d suggest you stop at 4:10 πŸ™‚

  7. Maddie says:

    πŸ™‚ I love Vanessa too! She is so adorable, and every time she talks i smile πŸ™‚ I love Some Hearts, and i dont really have much of a problem mixing country and pop, I really can appreciate both types of music. I would like to buy Miranda’s album now though, her songs seem very nice. I want to hear some more of them. ^_^

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