Four the Record
In another era, Miranda Lambert would be one tough rocker. The Nashville Star finalist continues to score country music that isn’t afraid to growl, grind, and pound with classic-rock ferocity. Country instrumentation highlights tunes such as “All Kinds of Kinds,” “Mama’s Broken Heart,” and “Dear Diamond,” but much of Lambert’s approach straddles the line between country and rock. “Fine Tune” pushes pure aggression with its distorted guitars and vocals, while “Fastest Girl in Town” uses its speed to throw a cathartic guitar solo into the mix. “Safe” mixes country, pop, and adult contemporary, where the voice makes all the difference. Esteemed outside writers give Lambert an edge. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings contribute the touching “Look at Miss Ohio,” while Allison Moorer writes the end-of-the-world ballad “Oklahoma Sky.” Brandi Carlile’s “Same Old You” could be a classic '50s country number. Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton, duets for a perfectly locked-in performance on “Better in the Long Run.” She may not be seeking as much revenge these days, but she’s still bringing plenty of passion to everything she sings.