Miranda Lambert Isn’t Holding Back On New Album.
Miranda Lambert isn’t exactly known for being delicate, but after the release of her new album Four The Record, there really is no going back. One of the best things about Miranda is the unabashed strength, in her voice, music and the lyrics she sings. With this new album, she takes this quality to a whole new level. The short story is this album is amazing, and you absolutely need to listen to it immediately. If you want the long story, just keep reading.
If I had to use one word to describe this album…(well, okay, how about two words?), I would choose raw and honest. From the instrumentals to the lyrics the content of Four The Record is thick with relevance, meaning and emotion, and Miranda delivers it with a punch. One thing I especially like is the variation in the instrumentals. It ranges from a kind of rock-esque sound with “Fine Tune“, a more old country feel with “Same Old You“, a slow, semi-folkish quality in “Oklahoma Sky” and “Look At Miss Ohio“, a more contemporary mainstream country vibe on “Better In The Long Run“, all the way to that very classic feisty Miranda quality in “Baggage Claim” (the first single off the album!). No matter how you slice it, there really is a little something on this album for a variety of tastes while still holding true to that country twang that we all know and love. There is an especially awesome Dolly-esque moment in “Same Old You” that shows where Miranda must be getting her influences (see if you can hear what I’m talking about, and get back to me!).
Coupled with the amazing instrumentals and variation of sounds, Miranda offers up lyrics that are well-written and subtle which is something we’re not getting a whole lot of out of mainstream country these days. The first thing I love about the lyrics, is that they are not all love stories. Listening to the radio can get frustrating when everything sounds like a different version of the same old love story. We are definitely getting much more than that on this album. The first track, “All Kinds of Kinds” is slow and methodical with an almost sweet sound, and it paints a picture of those individuals society generally considers to be outcasts (from circus folk to cross-dressing politicians). The argument suggested is the world needs these outcasts, all kinds, to keep on spinnin’. “Mama’s Broken Heart” is a story of a broken-hearted girl, but she approaches the topic by delightfully describing a girl who isn’t willing to shut-up and save face. This really seems to capture that strong, not-gonna-take-it-lying-down country woman spirit that I love! “Look At Miss Ohio” gives us a story of girl who isn’t ready to settle down and conform, but wants to live a little for awhile. All three of these are not only not love songs, but give us stories of individuals who are not necessarily ready to live the lives being forced on them. It is truly refreshing to hear this kind of sentiment from such a strong country voice.
Now, while there are songs on the album that are not love songs, there are also plenty of songs on the album that are love songs. These include “Fine Tune“, “Safe“, “Easy Living“, and “Oklahoma Sky“, and they are all amazing! Each offers a different way of describing love from passionate and raw to everyday and comforting to earth shattering and life altering. Some of the best lyrics on the album come from “Oklahoma sky“: “How long has it taken me to find you/Five hundred years, five hundred thousand miles/It don’t matter now, love’s always on time…Lightning flash, everything went silent/A feather could have knocked me to the floor/Missing peace was found, I was finally alive/Meet me underneath the Oklahoma sky”. I love these lyrics because they are legitimately poetic, and describe love in a way that is either relatable to those who have experienced it or creates a desire in those who have not to strive for this kind of love. They are a great example of the power of good music.
With beautifully composed music and lyrics, Lambert has truly created an amazing album. Now, this is an album that requires more than one listen. I have already listened to it from beginning to end at least five times, and I have not doubt that it will remain on repeat! I’m sure that with each additional listening, I will continue to get more and more out of Four The Record, and I hope that you will too.
Four The Record is available to fans now, so go check it out if you haven’t already!
1. All Kinds Of Kinds (Phillip Coleman/Don Henry)
2. Fine Tune (Natalie Hemby/Luke Laird)
3. Fastest Girl In Town (Miranda Lambert/Angaleena Presley)
4. Safe (Miranda Lambert)
5. Mama’s Broken Heart (Brandy Clark/Shane McAnally/Kasey Musgraves)
6. Dear Diamond (Miranda Lambert)
7. Same Old You (Brandi Carlile)
8. Baggage Claim (Miranda Lambert/Natalie Hemby/Luke Laird)
9. Easy Living (Miranda Lambert/Scotty Wray)
10. Over You (Miranda Lambert/Blake Shelton)
11. Look At Miss Ohio (David Rawlings/Gillian Welch
12. Better In The Long Run (Charles Kelley/Ashley Monroe/Gordie Sampson)
13. Nobody’s Fool (Chris Stapleton)
14. Oklahoma Sky (Allison Moorer)