First up! I love me some... Miranda Lambert.
Now. If you saw that name and thought "ugh, country music, NO THANK YOU," I am begging you to stick around for a minute. I had written off the entire genre, too, until my persistent friend Dara slowly changed my mind during our freshman year of college. (Deana Carter's sweet "We Danced Anyway" was my gateway drug, as I recall.)
Don't get me wrong; there is a lot of bad country music out there. But there's also a lot of bad "insert any other genre here" out there. That's the problem with categorizing music too broadly: Amazing artists like Miranda Lambert can be overlooked, and that makes me sad, because Miranda... well, she just kicks ass.
Waaay back in 2003, she was on "Nashville Star" during its first season. I still don't understand how it is that she came in third, but thankfully, someone signed her anyway. She writes most of her own songs, which I really respect, and has a gorgeous, sincere voice. A few things to note:
- Do not make her angry. Though she claims it's not really who she is, songs like "Kerosene," "Gunpowder & Lead" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" have given her a vengeful, violent reputation. Maybe it's just a persona, but I wouldn't bet against her in a fight. She could take Carrie Underwood, that's for damn sure.
- Right after she scares the crap out of you, or maybe at the same time, she will make you laugh. She shows her sense of humor in... well, lots of songs, but my faves are "Dry Town," "Only Prettier" and again, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."
- Once she's got you thinking she's this tough, funny chick, she'll drop her guard and break your heart a little bit with "The House that Built Me," "Desperation" or "More Like Her." On that last one, she manages to be both pitiful and a little catty.
- Random sample lyric that I love, from the breakup song "Dead Flowers": "I'm living in a hurricane, and all he can say is 'Man, ain't it such a nice day?'" Love that. That song is pretty melodramatic, but she sells it.
That's my little (and by "little" I mean "way longer than I intended it to be") sales pitch for Miranda. Lord help me if I ever write one of these about Barenaked Ladies or Ben Folds. We'd be here all night.
Note: I apologize for all the YouTube fan videos linked above. I'm sure there are more sophisticated ways to link to songs, but I am a noob, so YouTube it is!