The 25-year-old expands her vision beyond shooting/burning down stuff, and makes a glorious leap into maturity. She’s found stylistic shades of songwriters twice her age, while maintaining her own bratty Texan flair. With themes of sin and forgiveness, regret and acceptance, loss and grown-up love, Revolution is a portrait of an artist in full possession of her powers, and the best mainstream-country ? album so far this year.
Miranda Lambert absolutely deserved the Academy of Country Music’s Album of the Year award for 2007’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It was a perfect album: there wasn’t a dud among the 11 songs, which ranged from the very traditional to the very modern, and Lambert showed an impressive emotional range. She could convincingly convey the anger of a newly empowered woman (“Gunpowder & Lead”) as well as she could the quiet strength of one recently independent (“Easy From Now On”).
Revolution is Miranda Lambert's first record to be delivered to great expectations, a reflection of the excellence of her first two and her increasing crossover to a wider, rock-oriented audience. Revolution was certainly made with that audience in mind, running a whopping 15 tracks -- a standard length in rock albums, not country -- and pumped up with growling, grinding guitars and thunderous rhythms, all the better to escalate her image as a rowdy spitfire. The gambit pays off almost too well, not quite obscuring the tender, gentle moments that prevent Lambert from being easily pigeonholed but pushing her Crazy Ex-Girlfriend persona to the verge of parody.
Sarah Palin in spursLike politics, country music is all about persona, and this 25-year-old Texan comports herself as a straight-talking, pistol-packing, hell-raising maverick. “I ain’t the kind you take home to mama,” she sings on her new record, and—unless your mother used to govern Alaska—that may be true. On “Time To Get A Gun,” Lambert describes herself as the kind of girl who’d buy a firearm today if she hadn’t spent her money drinking last night—and yet, for all the bluster, she may be most effective as a balladeer.
MARIAH CAREY“Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel”(Island) When exactly did Mariah Carey stop singing? Even when she began flirting aggressively with hip-hop in the mid-1990s she was happy to impose her titanic vocals atop even the scrappiest production. And no matter how grimy her surroundings became ….