Listen Up: Wednesday, February 16, 2005
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PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Miranda Lambert

Kerosene
(Sony)

By Tom Geddie

Miranda Lambert’s major label debut is crammed with hook-filled country-rock numbers, with an emphasis on the country and an even heavier emphasis on the sometimes angry, sometimes pensive love-done-me-wrong songs that are staples of the genre. You may remember Lambert from a couple of years ago as the third-place finisher among 8,000 contestants in the first Nashville Star tv competition (the country clone of American Idol except that the Star wannabes write some of their own songs).
The East Texan, now 21, spent a year in Nashville doing Star and another year making her Sony debut with, as she says in her press material, no interference from the Music City Corporate Machine. Kerosene can be a little instrumentally busy, which is par for the radio-ready set these days, but the songs (she wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12) are good, and Lambert’s vocals are reminiscent of a sassy Natalie Maines (and that’s a compliment). Lambert’s just as strong threatening revenge as snuggling up to a ballad.
Amid the hard drumbeat and pungent electric guitars on the title track, Lambert considers soaking high society in kerosene and setting it on fire to teach it a lesson. On “Greyhound Bound for Nowhere,” her knock-’em-dead song on Nashville Star, she turns the pace slow and yearning as she retreats — too slow to suit herself — from love. On the determined “I Wanna Die,” she assures a man, “If you’re the death of me, darling, I want to die.”
Kerosene is a well done c.d. and a giant leap of faith into the corporate music quagmire for Miranda Lambert.


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