Miranda Leigh Lambert (born November 10, 1983) rose to fame in 2003 as the third-place finisher on the first season of the musical competition Nashville Star. After singing backing and duet vocals on first-placer Buddy Jewell's debut album, Lambert secured a contract with Epic Records Nashville. Her debut album Kerosene was released to critical acclaim and strong sales, although its singles did not perform well (the title track, at #15 on Hot Country Songs, being its best showing).
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend followed in 2007 on Columbia Records, due to the closure of Epic's Nashville branch. This album brought her into the top 10 for the first time with the single "Gunpowder & Lead". It also got critical acclaim for its revengeful material. Revolution in 2009 includes her first and second number one hits, "The House That Built Me" and "Heart Like Mine". 2011's Four the Record, her first album for RCA Records, includes the #1 hit "Over You", and three more Top 10 hits. Platinum, released in 2014, became her first album to top the Billboard 200, and includes the hits "Automatic" and "Somethin' Bad", the latter a duet with Carrie Underwood.
Lambert is known for her comparatively grittier style. Although it took her three albums to top the charts, Lambert has been a longtime critical darling, with several Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards, plus a Grammy for "The House That Built Me".
Lambert also recorded two discs with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley as the side project Pistol Annies. Between 2010 and 2015, she was married to fellow country singer Blake Shelton.
- Kerosene (2005)
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2007)
- Revolution (2009)
- Four the Record (2011)
- Platinum (2014)
- The Weight of These Wings (2016)
Tropes present in her work:
- The Big Easy: "Somethin' Bad", a duet with Carrie Underwood, is about two bad girls seeking out some fun in New Orleans.
- Book-Ends: "Gunpowder & Lead" both opens and closes with the sound of a door creaking.
- Breakup Bonfire: "Kerosene".
- Censored Title: "Old Sh!t" and "Gravity Is a B**ch."
- Chronological Album Title: Four the Record.
- Cigarette of Anxiety / Drowning My Sorrows: "Hard Staying Sober."
- Cover Version: On each of her albums, starting with "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" she has included a cover of a song originally written by and/or recorded by an Americana/folk singer-songwriter including the Emmylou Harris hit "Easy From Now On," written by Susanna Clark and Carlene Carter, Patty Griffin's "Getting Ready," to name a few of the covers on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, John Prine's "That's The Way That The World Goes 'Round," Fred Eaglesmith's "Time To Get a Gun" on Revolution, Danny O'Keefe's "Covered Wagon" on "The Weight of These Wings" to name a few.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: The subject of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend".
- Domestic Abuse: In "Gunpowder & Lead", the narrator plans to kill an abusive husband.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She sang guest vocals on Buddy Jewell's debut album nearly a year before releasing anything of her own.
- Gay Aesop: One of the characters in "All Kinds of Kinds" is a "congressman with closets full of skeletons / And dresses that he wore on Friday nights."
- Genre Deconstruction: Her main theme in her songs (when not outright using subversion) about the stereotypes of the image of a good, docile woman in country music and shows that women who abides by this tradition are spineless and miserable. Best shown in "Mama's Broken Heart".
- Good Bad Girl: Played with in "Fastest Girl in Town": Lambert uses the pre-existing construct of the good-hearted, free-loving party girl to keep the listener on the hook until it's revealed that she isn't really that good-hearted at all.
- Gray Rain of Depression: "Greyhound Bound For Nowhere" starts with the line, "Rain on the window makes me lonely."
- Last Note Nightmare: "Gunpowder & Lead" tells the story of a woman planning to shoot her abusive husband. If the listeners haven't realized the story yet, the song abruptly ends with a loud shotgun blast.
- Loudness War: A common fault of Frank Liddell's production is his choice of neophyte sound engineers, particularly on Revolution. Many of her up-tempo songs are a hot mess over way-too-loud guitars, and sometimes even the ballads suffer even "Over You" has a lot of clipping and a screaming solo before the last verse. Even worse, this is often a Zig Zagged Trope for Liddell "The House That Built Me" is just Lambert's vocal and acoustic guitar, and is nowhere near being an example of this trope.
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Somethin' Bad" jumps right in with an A Cappella refrain.
- Mood Whiplash: "Gunpowder & Lead", a song about a woman planning to shoot her husband after he beat her, is followed by "Dry Town", a much sillier song about the singer's frustration with breaking down in a town with no alcohol to be had.
- New Media Are Evil: "Automatic" has shades of this:Hey, whatever happened to
Waiting your turn, doing it all by hand
'Cause when everything is handed to you
It's only worth as much as the time put in
It all just seemed so good the way we had it
Back before everything became automatic
- Not So Different: "Only Prettier", which is the point of view of a Cool Loser talking to an Alpha Bitch: "We're just like you, only prettier."
- In a more serious fashion, "All Kinds of Kinds" uses a variety of quirky examples to illustrate the joys of life, saying that "Ever since the beginning, to keep the world spinning / It takes all kinds of kinds".
- Not Your Daddy's X: "This ain't my mama's broken heart".
- The Runner-Up Takes It All: She is by far the most commercially successful Nashville Star contestant, although it took her a bit longer to get there.
- Sanity Slippage: The video for "Mama's Broken Heart" has Miranda play a buttoned up 50's society housewife who lets her brittle facade finally shatter behind closed doors. Never has eating a plate of vegetables been so hilariously violent.
- The Something Song: "Airstream Song."
- Take That!: Went after the Grammy producers and general society for accepting back Chris Brown so easily after he beat up Rihanna and physically abused her and for being a convicted felon
- "Chris Brown twice? I dont get it. He beat on a girl," she tweeted, before adding "Not cool that we act like that didnt happen. He needs to listen to Gunpowder and lead and be put back in his place. Not at the Grammys."Before singing, Lambert pulled a poster out of the audience reading "Take Notes Chris Brown.""Get a good picture now, put it on Twitter," she said, while holding the poster up. "Ive been in a world of hurt with Chris Brown fans lately ...but see, I just have to speak my mind because where I come from beating up on a woman is never okay.
- Technology Marches On: In "Automatic," she laments that this is happening in the world and reminisces on the way things used to be "back before everything became automatic."
- Vocal Tag Team: On both of the Pistol Annies albums, all three alternate on lead vocals.
- Wanderlust Song: "New Strings."
- Wham Line: "Over You" initially sounds like a breakup song, until the last line of the bridge: "It really sinks in, you know/When I see it written in stone." Then you realize it's actually about a former lover who's died.