Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

4.6 16
by Miranda Lambert
     
 

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After owning up to an unconscious plagiarism of Steve Earle's "I Feel Alright" in her debut smash, "Kerosene," and making the wrong kind of headlines when she revealed that she often packs heat (she has a permit, though), Miranda Lambert is putting the focus back where it belongs -- on her music. With a clutch of terrific songs (most self-penned, plus a few choice… See more details below

Overview

After owning up to an unconscious plagiarism of Steve Earle's "I Feel Alright" in her debut smash, "Kerosene," and making the wrong kind of headlines when she revealed that she often packs heat (she has a permit, though), Miranda Lambert is putting the focus back where it belongs -- on her music. With a clutch of terrific songs (most self-penned, plus a few choice covers from the likes of Patty Griffin, David Rawlings & Gillian Welch, and, most notable of all, the Carlene Carter/Susanna Clark gem once memorably rendered by Emmylou Harris, "Easy From Now On") and ace backing musicians, Lambert delivers ferocity and heart at every turn. Echoes of her fellow Texan Natalie Maines are ever-present in her vocal style, but the smarts informing her bluesy phrasing are singular. "Gunpowder and Lead," a warning of homicidal revenge planned for an abusive mate, is sung without a whit of the humor that leavened the Dixie Chicks' entry into this subgenre, "Goodbye Earl," and is fueled by high-octane, snarling rock guitar, an ominous, rumbling organ, thundering percussion, and a howling, "Let It Bleed"-era female chorus, culminating in an explosive shotgun blast and the sound of a spent shell hitting the floor. Revenge of the fist-city sort informs the raucous title tune, but Rawlings & Welch's twangy stomper "Dry Town" does find the humor in the search for a tall, cool one. In short, Lambert's full of piss and vinegar here, burning righteously and making every moment count.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Miranda Lambert didn't win the first Nashville Star in 2003, but she sure is the first bona fide star the televised music competition has produced, as her stellar 2007 sophomore album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt. Taking her cue from the vengeful spurned woman of "Kerosene," her hit debut single, Lambert has built her second album around a tough-chick persona, something that may be clear from the very title of the album, but this isn't a one-dimensional record by any stretch. Sure, she plays the crazy ex-girlfriend of the title track -- stalking her beau and his new girl to the local bar, which she promptly starts tearing apart -- but that's hardly the extent of her hell-raising here. She takes righteous revenge on a guy who slapped her around on the rocking opener, "Gunpowder and Lead" ("he wants a fight, well now he's got one"), she's stranded without booze in a "Dry Town," and she breaks hearts left and right on the surging, hard-edged "Down," while she searches in vain for a good fling on "Guilty in Here," where she wonders what became of "all the boys that only want one thing." That line reveals that Lambert has a sly sense of humor, but she's not joking around: these are lean, hard-hitting, tuneful country songs, delivered with a classic outlaw strut and a vicious modern punch. If Lambert has a thin, almost girlish voice, she's hardly girly -- there's an edge to her delivery that leaves no doubt that she possess nerves of steel. But for as strong as she sounds on the plentiful rockers here, Lambert also lets her guard down on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, as she as she soaks her "Love Letters" with tears, sweetly sighs in "Desperation," and sadly wishes she was "More Like Her" as she looks on as her ex-lover returns to his old love. This last song provides a neat flip side to the rampaging title track, which also hints at this album's complexity. There are songs that are larger than life, songs that are achingly intimate, and they all add up to rich artistic statement of purpose that is also a hell of a lot of fun. Miranda Lambert knows exactly who she is as a musician, and nowhere is that clearer than how the three covers here -- Gillian Welch co-wrote "Dry Town," Carlene Carter and Susanna Clark penned "Easy from Now On" (which Emmylou Harris popularized), and Patty Griffin authored "Getting Ready" (also heard on her own 2007 album, Children Running Through) -- blend seamlessly with Lambert's eight originals. Every one of the 11 songs shares the same spirit and Lambert's is strong enough of a writer to hold her own with such heavy-hitters, possessed with a wry wit and clear eye for little details, mining the unexpected from such familiar subjects as love and loss and jealously and rage. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would have been impressive if it was just a showcase of her strengths as a singer or as a songwriter, but since it is both, it's simply stunning, a breakthrough for Lambert and one of the best albums of 2007, regardless of genre.
New York Times - Jon Caramanica
Raucousness is the dominant mode on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Ms. Lambert’s second major-label album....Backed by ragged, loud guitar work and production that is full but not slick, Ms. Lambert sounds like a brash rabble-rouser, an emotionally insightful spark plug.
USA Today
On the best country album so far this year, Lambert sounds as if she just might be woman enough to have taken Loretta Lynn's man -- and volatile enough to have shot him in his tracks the first time he hit her. Well, maybe not the first. But the second, for sure.
Los Angeles Times
Her songs of female empowerment and small-town wild-child fun have marked her as one of today's most promising country ingénues. This dust-kicker's more like a superheroine.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/01/2007
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0828767893228
catalogNumber:
78932

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miranda Lambert   Primary Artist
Eric Darken   Percussion
Richard Rodney Bennett   Guitar
Chad Cromwell   Drums
Natalie Hemby   Background Vocals
Jay Joyce   Guitar
Chuck Leavell   Keyboards
Buddy Miller   Background Vocals
Russ Pahl   Pedal Steel Guitar
Randy Scruggs   Guitar,Mandolin
Hank Singer   Fiddle
Glenn Worf   Bass
Waddy Wachtel   Guitar
Mike Wrucke   Banjo,Guitar,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Carlene Carter   Composer
Susanna Clark   Composer
Patty Griffin   Composer
Jim Hoke   Contributor
Gillian Welch   Composer
David Rawlings   Composer
Tracy Baskette-Fleaner   Art Direction
Mike Wrucke   Engineer,Audio Production
Frank Liddell   Audio Production
Miranda Lambert   Composer
Judy Forde Blair   Liner Notes,Creative Producer
Travis Howard   Composer

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