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Album Review

Miranda Lambert, 'Revolution'

September 28, 2009

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Country
Miranda Lambert Revolution
Sony Nashville
ESSENTIAL “Only Prettier’’

This is Miranda Lambert’s third release since her fateful 2003 appearance on the inaugural “Nashville Star’’ reality show gave legs to her career. While it’s not likely to start any musical revolutions even within the confines of mainstream country, it shows that she is still playing by her own rules. She’s still spitting sass and spirit, brushing off a rival in the hooky, stone-country “Only Prettier’’; wrapping her marvelously twangy, syrup-thick voice around Fred Eaglesmith’s assertion of self-reliance, “Time to Get a Gun’’; and blasting her way through an unhinged, country-punk take on John Prine’s “That’s the Way That the World Goes ’Round.’’ (Now, there are a couple of names that don’t usually show up in the writers’ credits on major-label country records.) She tempers that with a little tenderness on the fiercely grounded “Love Song’’ and the gorgeous extended metaphor “Virginia Bluebell.’’ The album’s first single, “Dead Flowers,’’ is the sort of oversize pop ballad you’d expect from Faith Hill, not Lambert, and “Maintain the Pain’’ comes across as undistinguished arena rock. Those missteps notwithstanding, “Revolution’’ is the sound of Miranda Lambert coming into her own. (Out tomorrow)

STUART MUNRO