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Miranda Lambert - Crazy Ex-Gilrfriend  
Album Review by Pepper Grayson CSO Staff Journalist

If you’re looking for members of the next generation of Country Outlaws, look (or listen) no further than Miranda Lambert and her latest release, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Crowned ACM’s Top New Female Vocalist, this 23 year old rebel delivers in ways reminiscent of Willie, Waylon and the lot!

Many remember Lambert as the last surviving female finalist, taking third during the 2003 Nashville Star competition. Her debut album, Kerosene, hit the charts and went platinum. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend definitely promises to follow suit.

What struck me most about this album was the diversity, plain and simple. Lambert wrote/co-wrote eight of the eleven tracks, which include tunes ranging from cowboy rock to old-time 2-steppin’ to modern country and much in between. Without spoiling all the fun for your first listen, here’s my take on a couple of my favorites.

Pepper’s Brass Tacks Breakdown:

Kicking off Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Lambert pounds out a memorable lick on the guitar (after a poor sap moaning) in "Gunpowder & Lead". This track lays out the story of a gal fed up with a no-good abusive loser, who quickly has the tables turned on him; and deservingly so. The ruff-n-tuff attitude behind the sound in this one lends to that rebel in Lambert, we love to hear.

[DISCLAIMER: While yours truly does not necessarily condone waiting at the door with a shotgun to blow a loser (as depicted in said tune) away… chalk one up for the lady on this one!] 

Growing up in a dry county back in Tennessee, this one brought back many a memories, which only added to the grin on my face and personal endearment as I listened and tapped my toes to "Dry Town", a/k/a Track 2. The chorus had a smooth blend of harmonies and with the evocative Loretta Lynn/George Strait ring to it, if this one doesn’t get you 2-steppin’, I think you’re doomed to bland.

If you caught this year’s ACM’s and Lambert’s performance, you’re familiar with "Famous In a Small Town". I can just picture the innocence of two girlfriends realizing they’ve got it good where they are and that the attention from ‘their faces in a magazine’ may not quite measure up to their secured notoriety in the local paper.

If there were such a thing as southern banjo-rock, the title track, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", would be the banner song. This nitty-gritty jealous rage song gets the guys shaking their heads and the gals howling out a rebel call! Simply sassy!

Didn’t I tell you this album was diverse? "Love Letters" offers a sad country waltz, filled with heartbreak, but a great tune to spin around the dance floor with the one you love, or that one you hope to be loved by. The only complaint I have for this one is that it might end before you have time to get my number. (Laymen’s terms: It was a wee bit short and I want you to ask for my number!).

Hillbilly country bad-girl style is handed up in Lambert’s "Down", "Guilty In Here" and "Getting Ready" (LOVE the mouth harp and hard beat in "Getting Ready"). Yet another example of great rebel gal tunes that deliver some in-your-face lyrics. Boys, beware! 

Lambert’s strike is hot in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend! Her diversity on this album, along with her unique no-holds-bared lyrics leaves me the great pleasure of bestowing five out of five “Boot Kicks”!


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