Miranda Lambert – “Gunpowder and Lead”
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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