Friday, November 04, 2011

Miranda Lambert's New One May or May Not Be Worth It.


It's called Four the Record. I now regret that I didn't include a whole string of terrible "four" puns at the end of my PopMatters review, fournication in the fourests of Fourks, WA, while fourmidable foes affourd no mercy and fourensic detectives fourget to fill out triplicate fourms, and whatnot. On second thought, maybe it's better that I didn't do that. Here's an excerpt:

Lambert is a rare country artist who’s become more popular even as she’s gotten alt-er. However you feel about alternative country vs. chart country, there’s something admirable about Lambert sprinkling her surefire Number One albums with the songs of Americana lifers like Fred Eaglesmith, Patty Griffin, John Prine, and, on this one, Gillian Welch and Allison Moorer. (It’s sort of like when Nirvana dragged the Meat Puppets onto MTV Unplugged.) No surprise, Welch’s “Look at Miss Ohio” and Moorer’s “Oklahoma Sky” (nothing about Oregon?) are atmospheric and brooding, two qualities prized by alt-country fans. Lambert’s earlier ballads “More Like Her” and “Greyhound Bound For Nowhere” were prettier, less fussy, and better observed narratives. On the other hand, “Miss Ohio” never spells out its title character’s dilemma, so it arrives covered in a patina of capital “M” Mystery that manages to feel rootsy and sophisticated at the same time, a neat trick. If you enjoy dissecting the Anthology of American Folk Music over craft beers, Lambert might happily join you someday.

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