Miranda Lambert is a petite Texan spitfire who unapologetically brandishes guns and humiliates ex-boyfriends. She claims to have whiskey running through her veins. And Esquire magazine named her 2008’s "Terrifying Woman of the Year."
So it surprised no one that she mined themes of hyperbolic, honky-tonk retribution for all they were worth on her first two albums, Kerosene and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. With Revolution, she relaxes that tough-chick image a bit. Still, she’s hardly sworn off the crude, boozing, indignant attitude that’s been her primary calling card. "I still have some killin’ songs," she told Entertainment Weekly.
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On "The House That Built Me," Miranda returns to her childhood home seeking perspective, tenderly singing, "I thought if I could touch this place or feel it/This brokenness inside me might start healing." She wrestles with what it takes to be truly content on "Airstream Song" ("If this is all I need/Why do I want more?"). And on "Virginia Bluebell," Miranda encourages a struggling young woman, singing, "Even through a stone a flower can bloom/You just need a little push/Spring is coming soon."
Ballads illustrating the strength of romantic love include "Love Song" and "Makin’ Plans" ("You know me like the back of your hand/I’m your girl and you’re my man"). Though things aren’t going very well on "Dead Flowers," a woman in a strained relationship tries to stand by her emotionally indifferent man anyway. Miranda hopes to avoid conflict (and the devil to boot) on "Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go" ("Take me somewhere trouble don’t go/Make me someone trouble don’t know"). "Sin for Sin" revolves around an unfaithful lover—which obviously isn’t positive—but the singer fights the urge to retaliate since the Bible instructs her to forgive.
But forgiveness, well, that’s not really Miranda’s strong suit. On "White Liar," her man cheats, so she cheats right back, spitting, "Here’s a bombshell just for you/Turns out that I’ve been lying too."
"Only Prettier" is a sarcastic ode to the differences between high society people and foul-mouthed, uncultured folks ("I got a mouth like a sailor and yours is more like a Hallmark card"). "Time to Get a Gun" laments life’s dangerous uncertainties and implies that they’re better faced with a firearm. She lets one round loose on "Maintain the Pain"—purposely shooting her car radio as she says of a relationship, "I swear I hate you but I can’t let go." And yet she seems perfectly capable of letting go on "Airstream Song," as she sings, "Break a heart, roll out of town/’Cause gypsies never get tied down."
"Heart Like Mine" talks of getting stronger after a second drink. That song claims Jesus would understand since He drank wine too—He’ll even toast her when she gets to heaven, she thinks. On the suggestive "Me and Your Cigarettes," Miranda compares herself to a smoking habit that a guy can’t quit: "You’re addicted to a feeling you can only get/From me and your cigarettes."
Miranda Lambert told EW, "I think a lot of the music I love is real music. It’s about real life. It’s about drinkin’ and cheatin’ and church—things that people really do."
That one quote pretty much does all the heavy lifting that’s required here.
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Revolution peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and hit No. 1 on the country album chart.
September 29, 2009