Song of the Day #837: ‘Easy From Now On’ – Miranda Lambert

Top Ten Female Vocalists – #2 – Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert is the only woman on this list whose music I hadn’t even heard a year ago, and here she is all the way up at #2. I can thank Brad Paisley for the introduction.

After reading lavish praise of Paisley’s American Saturday Night during the 2009 best-of season, I decided to bite the bullet and give country music a real chance for the first time in my life. I bought a handful of country albums by artists such as Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Lambert.

All of those acts proved worthwhile to some degree but Lambert was on a whole other level. I quickly bought all of her albums and began listening to them obsessively. She eventually eclipsed even Paisley in my estimation.

Like my #1 pick this week (who I’m sure my longtime readers have already guessed), Lambert has become one of my all-time favorites on the strength of just three albums. Those albums — Kerosene, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Revolution — are each a marvel of songwriting and performance and fully worthy of the many awards and critical accolades they’ve received.

And a huge part of Lambert’s appeal is definitely her voice. As with my #10 pick, Lily Allen, accent is a major factor here. Lambert’s Texas twang is one of my favorite sounds in music. No matter what she’s singing, I’m in love with the sound of her words. I’m not generally a fan of southern accents in music, either, so I believe it’s some quality of Lambert’s particular voice, or perhaps the way she uses it.

Like the greatest singers, Lambert infuses all of her songs with attitude and emotion. And what range! She is equally adept at conveying the ache of heartbreak and the fire of jealous anger. I suspect she is one of those musicians who would make a fine actor.

There he goes gone again
Same old story’s gotta come to an end
Lovin’ him was a one way street
But I’m gettin’ off where the crossroads meet
A quarter moon in a ten cent town
It’s time for me to lay my heartaches down
Saturday night I wanna make myself a name
Take a month of Sundays to try and explain

It’s gonna be easy to fill
The heart of a thirsty woman
And harder to kill the ghost of a no good man
And I’ll be ridin’ high in a fandangled sky
It’s gonna be easy it’s gonna be easy from now on

Raw as a whit but clean as a bone
Soft to the touch when you take me home
When the mornin’ comes and it’s time for me to leave
Don’t worry ’bout me I got a wild card up my sleeve

It’s gonna be easy to fill
The heart of a thirsty woman
And harder to kill the ghost of a no good man
And I’ll be ridin’ high in a fandangled sky
It’s gonna be easy it’s gonna be easy
It’s gonna be easy from now on
From now on
It’s gonna be easy
It’s gonna be easy
It’s gonna be easy
Easy
Easy

8 thoughts on “Song of the Day #837: ‘Easy From Now On’ – Miranda Lambert

  1. Amy says:

    Well today’s pick seems like a natural continuation from yesterday’s thread. Her voice, and this song, certainly make your case much more effectively than the one you featured by Neko Case yesterday.

    I like her voice very much, though I must admit that it reminds me of every other female country singer I don’t know well. I realize that such a comment reflects my ignorance far more than it does the similarity of those singers… still….
    If you’d delved into country music a couple of decades ago, would Crystal Gayle be on your list? Trisha Yearwood? Hell, for that matter, where is Patsy Cline, who is oft named as one of the best female singers – of any genre – on list after list?

    Thought this one would be appropriate to feature – Here is Martina McBride with “This One’s for the Girls” – just imagine she’s singing it for her contemporary country artists who weren’t featured on your list 😉

    All of that, and I still understand your pick. Back to Dana’s blanket analogy (or was it my analogy that he co opted? 😉 – Lambert is the voice you find pleasant, comforting, whatever it is for you that makes one voice “better” than another.

  2. Dana says:

    I’m with Amy on this one. Nice voice, but I don’t hear anything distinct or special over a myriad female country singers. I get that she is this year’s model for you, and, as with your initial best directors list before we shamed you into dividing the list into hot new directors over all time great directors, this list skews toward the new (or new to you) over the older established artists. I suspect with time and perspective, you may not necessarily list her in your top 10, or at least not in the vaunted spot of number 2.

  3. Clay says:

    Amy, I’m sure there are a ton of artists in all genres who would have a shot at this list (and other lists) if they would get on my radar. That’s one of the reasons I’m always looking for “this year’s model” — I know how much great stuff is out there waiting to be discovered.

    Dana, while I understand your point about the newer artists being fresher in my mind, I don’t think that really applies to this list. I considered several more established artists (and about 5-6 of them made it on the list) but this group came pretty easily to me because these are all artists whose voices speak (sing) to me in a way that others just don’t (even others, like Aimee Mann or Lucinda Williams, who I consider among my very favorite artists of all time).

    As for Lambert, she’s actually the reason I started this whole four-week series. I was remarking on how much I love listening to her voice — not just her songs, but the way she sings them — and thought that I could probably come up with a good list of other artists who work on me the same way. New model or not, she affects me like very few singers ever have.

    I’m discovering over the course of these posts (and the comments) just how personal the voice thing is.

    There are singers I’ve listed here who strike me as slam dunks and you guys write stuff like “Nice enough voice” or “Nothing special.” And then you’ll name a singer who knocks your socks off, and I’m thinking… “Nice enough voice” or “Nothing special.”

    Weird how the same combination of sound waves can blow one person away and leave another unmoved. This is a corny analogy, but it’s kind of like the unique chemistry that allows two people to fall in love with each other when they might be all wrong for scores of other potential matches.

  4. Dana says:

    The ear wants what the ear wants:)

  5. pegclifton says:

    Interesting to think about what makes one person so moved over a singer/song and another not so much. For instance, I can be really moved by a song in its context in a movie for example, but not so much just listening to it on the radio. There are some arias that move me to tears with the shear beauty of the music and voice, that would send others screaming for the aisles. Not such a corny analogy about the “unique chemistry” Clay.

  6. Amy says:

    No, not at all. Especially when you combine it with my warm blanket analogy 😉

    This may be one of my favorite series you have featured on this blog for that very reason. It’s fun and interesting to learn about which artists most appeal to each of us.

    The other night, we watched an old(ish) episode of Spectacle, where Lyle Lovett performed “Natural Forces.” Listening to that performance, I just couldn’t imagine any singer making a greater impression on me. I know Lovett is “no Sinatra” (or no Bono, or no Sting, or no Stipe and so son), but my ear wants what my ear wants, and that is Lyle Lovett.

    I also take issue with Dana suggesting that a favorite singer will fall out of favor over time. Why should that be? Maybe an album that you can’t hear enough of will be replaced by another, newer album that now demands your time, but a singer is different. If, when one hears a voice for the first time, that voice “speaks”(sings) to that listener in a powerful way, that chemistry is ignited, that blanket is warm, then I imagine the singer will remain a favorite for the duration. That is certainly true about my fondness for Sinatra (from childhood), Stipe (from college), and Lovett (from graduate school? maybe?) – I haven’t replaced any of them with “newer models,” nor do I imagine I will do so.

    Clay’s lists suggest a similar blend of favorites culled from years of listening to voices he loves.

  7. Dana says:

    To be clear, I wasn’t saying that Lambert’s voice will become less of a favorite to Clay years from now, just that it might not be top ten, let alone number 2 on his list.

  8. Clay says:

    Perhaps she will be unseated by next year’s model. 🙂

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