Miranda Lambert – “Gunpowder and Lead”

Matt Clark | December 11th, 2007

miranda-lambert.jpg It’s easy to malign an artist for having “attitude” because the truth is that far too many new artists have uncreatively tried to make their mark by fabricating an outlaw image. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Miranda Lambert. Kerosene created an accidental outlaw; critics lauded Lambert’s debut album because the murderous vengeance of the title track was so unexpected from the innocent, dimpled blond who graced the album cover, and tracks like “What About Georgia” were devastatingly incisive without stooping to foot-stomping rage.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, especially the title track, is a little less imaginative and subtle than Kerosene in its exhibition of Lambert’s renegade personality, but that doesn’t diminish the merit of “Gunpowder and Lead.” It’s similar in theme and mood to “Kerosene” but too well crafted to be considered purely derivative. In “Kerosene,” Lambert is the perpetrator but sounds like the victim; in “Gunpowder and Lead,” Lambert is the victim but sounds like the perpetrator. It’s the result of an interestingly dichotomous structure in which the verses are jaunty and brooding while the chorus is a head-banging resolution.

“Gunpowder and Lead” is a song of female liberation in the spirit of “Independence Day” and “Goodbye Earl.” Much like those songs, it is uniquely endowed with the trademark of its artist. When that artist is perhaps the greatest singer-songwriter on the radio, the result is a good song indeed.

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  1. Baron Lane
    December 11, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    She is a firecracker!

  2. Kenny Christmas
    December 11, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    I’m always surprised to never read mention of her song “Love Letters.” She wrote it by herself and damn it if it isn’t the best song on the album.

  3. Lanibug65
    December 11, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    I truly love this song, every time I hear it on the radio or it comes on in the shuffle of my ipod, I just have to turn it up, something about the line “shook me like a rag doll, doesnt that sound like a real man” makes me agree with her standing up for herself.

    There are so many songs on her new album that I just love….

  4. Matt C.
    December 11, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Kenny, we generally only review songs that are released as singles. “Gunpowder and Lead” is Miranda’s next single, which is why I reviewed it instead of some other song on the album.

  5. Kenny Christmas
    December 11, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I’m always surprised how little I follow along. But seriously, I don’t think anybody anywhere has mentioned this song in reviewing Miranda(‘s album).

  6. KathyP
    December 11, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    How Carrie, and now Taylor, get all the publicity is beyond me. Taylor may write her own stuff but, in person, ain’t much at all. I’ve seen her twice and have not been impressed. Carrie doesn’t write. There’s no doubt in my mind that Miranda is the total package. Plus, I love the attitude. Gutsy woman, she is.

  7. Betty
    December 29, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Miranda Lambert has a country voice but she sings rock and I am afraid not very good at all. Her vocals leave a lot to be desire. I guess that is why she shouts all the time. Where is the pure voice of Tammy Ynette. I believe Carrie Underwood in her performace on the Opry with “Stand By Your Man” answers that question. Miranda would never be asked to join the Opry. Her type of music is just not traditonal oountry. I am from the era of Tammy, Eddy Arnold, Sonny James, Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline. You know the people who could really sing. They did not have to shout.

  8. Matt C.
    December 29, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Betty, are you kidding me?

  9. freewayradio.com guy
    December 31, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Miranda Lambert is an excellent example of what is so great about NEW country music these days. It has become country AND rock. Miranda Lambert is “fresh” in every sense of the word. I don’t see how she could be considered “overrated” as another article on this site argues. Her latest CD got good reviews, but very little mainstream radio airplay. She deserves more! Check out freewayradio.com where we play country and rock, and Miranda Lambert!

  10. Jordan Stacey
    January 16, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Just to defend Carrie, she has written a few songs on her new album. Now on to Miranda. Betty I don’t see it the way you see it. If you listen to Miranda’s album you’ll hear quite a few good country songs. There’s Love Letters which is probably the best song she has recorded(IMO), and she finished her album off with a cover of the Emmylou Harris classic Easy From No On, and does a fantastic job (Though I love Emmylou’s original slightly better).

  11. mirandas2cool
    January 18, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Betty- where do i start!! First of all Miranda does sing extremely well no matter what shes singing. Miranda may be slightly less vocaly talented than Carrie but she makes up for it in writing, Overall singing, and Stage presence ; these far outway Carries “better voice” If the opry has a brain they will invite Miranada to join. How can you say Miranda isnt traditional country, Mirandas older songs from her Indy cd are pure Texas country songs, and her newer songs (with the exception of this one) are very traditional! Have you heard “Dry town” i think that is one of the most classic sounding new country songs out there- listen to the Crazy ex-girlfriend cd!! Then to compare Miranda’s “non-traditional style” to Carrie Underwood the “queen of pop country singer” All American Girl is pop – i dont care what you say- i actually kinda enjoy it, but it is very pop, Carrie is NO WHERE near traditional country. Anyway back to Gp&l i think its a really awesome song and it may be a little rough around the edges but at least its not a cardboard cutout song followed by a cardboard cutout performance where you’re wondering if Carrie’s feet are actually superglued to the stage!!! Miranda gives you that energy, that stage presence that Carrie does not have!! And in advance -No i didnt bash Carrie either, its all my opinion stated in a non-hateful manner, because i dont dislike Carrie or any other artist i just dont care for some of their music or style as much as others!

    Anyway Good review of the single !!

  12. Betty
    January 19, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Miranda’s has two albums on itunes. One is the regular cd the other is explict. Country has always called their women entertainers ladies. An explict album is not lady like by any stretch of the imagination. Feel sorry for Miranda that she must cuss and fuss to get heard. Country radio knows what’s country and Miranda doesn’t do very well. Her album is a failure so far.

  13. Tyler
    January 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    I liked Miranda First CD better. Bring me down and me and Charlie talking. But is not as good as Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood. And the reason for her is Taylor song writing is amazing. I think is is a lot better than Miranda. Carrie has a better voice than Miranda. Miranda doesn’t have a huge thing going for her her song writing average and her singing good but not great.
    I did like Miranda everybody famous in a small town

  14. Peter Kohan
    January 19, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Oh Betty – don’t you think women have the same freedom of speech to express themselves as they see fit? And don’t you think we can hear a woman curse out loud without calls for her to be sent off to finishing school?

  15. Jim Malec
    January 19, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    And by the way, I’m pretty sure the only cuss on the album is “Bitch”.

    Wow, how could she!

  16. Todd
    January 19, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    I have to say this is my least favorite single from Miranda so far, but Miranda’s worst song in my opinion is still better than out 99% of singles by other artists!

  17. hairandtoenails
    January 20, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I have no problem with people using curse words in their songs, so long as the cursing is done with good purpose, and not for mere shock value. Sometimes curse words are the best, or only, way to express a certain thought.

    To me, the image of a dying child used cloyingly can be more obscene than the use of a curse word used to convey accurately the necessary idea.

  18. mirandas2cool
    January 20, 2008 at 11:57 am

    So, Betty, do you ever cuss??
    if so thats sad thats the only way you get heard!!
    Also, i wouldnt call an album that debuted #1 and has sold over 300,000 copies in a few months a failure, then again i’m not used to hearing people complain when a cd is “only 2x platinum”!
    Country radio has NO CLUE whats country and apparently neither do you! So youre telling me Me and Charlie, Bring me down, and New Strings arent country because they didnt go top 10-?

  19. Barbara
    October 18, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I don’t know about the rest of you but when I’m mad I definately blast GP&L, the energy in her anger is good to listen to when you’re mad yourself.

    It’s the music, not the standings, not the sales, but the emotions it evokes in the audience, whether it is just a fun loving song or an angry bitter one.

    And since we are all speaking to Betty… Damn Betty, why you uptight? Women got rights you know, there was a movement and everything?

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