Kerosene

Kerosene

4.6 18
by Miranda Lambert
     
 

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She may have finished third in the Nashville Star competition, but Miranda Lambert's major-label debut doesn't need media hype to make it noteworthy. Vocally, Lambert's almost a dead ringer for Dixie Chick (and fellow Texan) Natalie Maines, although she doesn't quite deliver the soulful, bluesy depth the more life experienced NatalieSee more details below

Overview

She may have finished third in the Nashville Star competition, but Miranda Lambert's major-label debut doesn't need media hype to make it noteworthy. Vocally, Lambert's almost a dead ringer for Dixie Chick (and fellow Texan) Natalie Maines, although she doesn't quite deliver the soulful, bluesy depth the more life experienced Natalie plumbs so effortlessly. Nevertheless, Lambert feels the lyrics (she wrote or co-wrote all but one of the dozen songs here), which dwell at length on relationships gone sour, the attendant bruised feelings, and the determination to sculpt something positive out of the ashes. Maudlin as these themes might sound, the music driving them is rootsy and hard edged: snarling electric guitars, percussive acoustic guitar riffing, booming drums, swirling pedal steel flurries, rowdy banjo punctuations, and soaring background choruses. A savvy singer, Lambert employs her affecting southwestern twang to maximum visceral impact, as on the title song, a flammable, roadhouse-borne kiss-off to love its ownself. For sheer vocal pyrotechnics, she belts out "Bring Me Down" with a fury that nearly overwhelms the power ballad–like roar supporting her. Digging deeper on a florid ballad, the Texan divests herself of some tortured reflections of a failed marriage in "Greyhound Bound for Nowhere," then comes on as sassy as the young Loretta Lynn in shedding herself of a feckless lover in the classically styled honky-tonk burner, "I Can't Be Bothered." Nashville star? That's what she are.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's arguable that Miranda Lambert's debut album, Kerosene, is the first true Nashville product produced in the wake of Gretchen Wilson, crafted with an eye on the audience that Wilson's stylized redneck raunch won. Of course, with her golden blonde hair and good looks, Lambert seems like she would be crushed by the rampaging Gretchen, and there's a certain truth that Miranda is a bit fabricated and polished. After all, she started out as an actress, appearing in the long-shelved Piper Perabo teen comedy Slap Her She's French (finally released under the lamentably tame title She Will Have Way), and only got a foothold in the music industry by participating in USA's countrified American Idol knockoff, Nashville Star, where she placed in the top three. All this suggests that Lambert will be as slickly packaged as, say, a Southern Diana DeGarmo, but pop music works in mysterious ways: as it turns out, Lambert wrote all of the tunes on her debut, whereas the seemingly more genuine Wilson only wrote about half. That said, Kerosene lacks the gonzo humor that Big & Rich brought to Here for the Party, and Lambert's sweet girlish voice seems too tame for some of the livelier material. But that's not to say that those tunes don't work as well as the gentler pop tunes (the ballads tend to be a little treacly and nondescript), all of which are sturdily written, delivered with conviction, and given just enough gloss for an appealing sheen. Against all odds, this a rarity in modern mainstream country: a piece of product that's friendly, tuneful, sharper, and more genuine than it initially seems. Maybe Miranda needed a show like to Nashville Star to jump-start her career, but the show gave her the opportunity to make this thoroughly winning debut.
Entertainment Weekly - Alanna Nash
[A] spunky set of honky-tonk, country-rock, and Sheryl Crow-style ballads. (B+)

Product Details

Release Date:
03/15/2005
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969202623
catalogNumber:
92026

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

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

Technical Credits

Jim Hoke   Contributor
Stephen Marcussen   Mastering
Stewart Whitmore   Digital Editing
Scotty Wray   Composer
Mike Wrucke   Producer,Engineer,overdub engineer,Audio Production
Frank Liddell   Producer,Audio Production
Deb Haus   Art Direction,Artist Development
Sylvia Meiler   Creative Producer
Miranda Lambert   Composer
Travis Howard   Composer
Rick Lambert   Composer

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