Thursday, March 04, 2010

Quick Hits: Miranda Lambert and Vampire Weekend

I’ve had "Revolution" for about a month now, and with each listen, it becomes more difficult to believe that it was Miranda Lambert presenting a Grammy Award to Taylor Swift, and not the other way around. Perhaps that isn’t a fair thing to say, particularly given the fact that I’ve not listened to Taylor Swift’s album, and probably wouldn’t know a Taylor Swift song if it jumped in front of my face. Let’s just say that Miranda Lambert comes across as a fully realized, mature artist and performer – and that based on the evidence at hand (i.e., her performance at the Grammys), Taylor Swift has a ways to go before anyone can say that about her.

What Miranda Lambert also comes across as is a woman who doesn’t take any sh*t from anyone. Just the tone in her voice, the confidence of her singing, leaves you with a picture of someone who is standing tall, ready to face down whatever problems come her way.

As far as highlights go, there are several, but off the top of my head I’d put “Dead Flowers,” “Me and My Cigarettes,” “Somewhere Trouble Won’t Go,” and “Sin For A Sin” at the top of the list. Listening to those songs, you recognize that sure, they’re country songs, but even before that they’re just great songs, period.

I suspect that she’ll be around for a good, long while.

Trying to pin down exactly how I feel about Vampire Weekend’s “Contra” is likely to take some time. My first reaction was not positive – to me, it sounded as if the band had taken its few rough edges and had sanded them down so far that it sounded like an even softer version of Haircut One Hundred (and for those of you who are too young to remember Haircut One Hundred, “an even softer version” of that band is not something we’re likely to see in our lifetimes). Then, several of the songs made me think of the “too many notes” line in “Amadeus.” There was a lot going on, but the end product sounded like much less than the sum of its parts. But then one of the songs caught my ear, and began to worm its way into my brain – the album’s closer, “I Think Ur A Contra.” It’s not a fast song, and no one would argue if you called it “soft,” but it sneaks up on you, and before you know it you can’t get it out of your head.

And now, I’m beginning to find that some of the other songs are threatening to do the same thing. So the jury is still out, but in political parlance, the numbers are trending in the right direction.


Debra said...

Miranda Lambert ROCKS! I love this album and every song on it!
Miranda will be around for a long time with her talented songwriting skills and live performances!

Alan said...

Miranda is the best...She is the best thing to hit the scene since Kitty Wells...Keep On Rocking!!!