Miranda Lambert – “White Liar”

Jim Malec | August 12th, 2009

miranda-lambert-white-liarIn the wake of the widespread critical acclaim and sales success of her sophomore album Crazy-Ex Girlfriend, Miranda Lambert had a choice to make: Milk that momentum and groom her budding relationship with country radio and the mainstream element, or follow a creative muse that has always been pulling her in a different direction.

It’s both impressive and heartening that, based on the first two singles from her upcoming album Revolution, she seems to have chosen the latter. Her follow-up to the chilling “Dead Flowers” is a decidedly alt-country track that showcases a significant Steve Earle influence and finds Lambert comfortably settling into a vocal groove that compliments the song’s melody instead of overpowering it.

It’s the mark of an artist growing more comfortable in her own musical skin that twice in a row now she has chosen to forgo the aggressive vocal approach that characterized so much of the music on her first two albums, instead leaning on the unique quality and expressiveness or her extraordinary voice.

This budding confidence has paved the way for music that sounds more cohesive than anything she’s released to date; “White Liar” is so damn tight, perfectly layered and exquisitely constructed. Especially satisfying is Lambert’s employment of a spectacular steel track that underlines the song throughout, proving that yes, the instrument can indeed still be utilized as something other than a token nod to a bygone era.

Country radio isn’t going to come within 100 feet of this, of course. The only use they’ve ever hard for her is to fill, in Gretchen Wilson’s sudden departure, the open role of attitude-laden bad girl. “White Liar” positions Lambert well outside of the comfortable confines, so far removed from the bombastic, hook-pounding songs the format favors that she has to no know there’s no place for it.

She has to know that this can’t be played after “She’s Country.” And we should be awfully glad of that, because as Lambert grows more comfortable with her place in the country music landscape she’ll undoubtedly feel more freedom to make music as she hears it in her heart and in her head, unencumbered by the need to please a group of people who really aren’t interested in her anyway.

That’s an exciting thought, because this is an immensely compelling artist possessing a store of talent to which few can compare.

Thumbs Up

Listen: Miranda Lambert – “White Liar”

1 Ping

  1. [...] Revolution is proving to fans and critics that Miranda Lambert is here to stay.  It is an album that also reveals a softer side to the “Gunpowder and Lead” singer.  Miranda just seems to be getting better and better.  “It’s the mark of an artist growing more comfortable in her own musical skin that twice in a row now [Dead Flowers and White Liar] she has chosen to forgo the aggressive vocal approach that characterized so much of the music on her first two albums, instead leaning on the unique quality and expressiveness or her extraordinary voice.” (original article) [...]
  1. Karlie
    August 12, 2009 at 10:11 am

    That’s some great steel. I’ve never felt compelled to buy any of her music, but I definitely will get this one.

  2. Nicolas
    August 12, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Miranda can seemingly do no wrong for me =) She just keeps getting better with every album… this one’s a hit.

    The cool thing about it is that I think it still has the chance to be a potential hit at radio.

  3. Rick
    August 12, 2009 at 11:12 am

    I’m not a big Miranda fan but this is an interesting song. I agree with Jim that this is so far removed from the most of the pop-rock schlock that dominates Top 40 country radio its a real longshot to get airplay.

    Miranda has developed a sizable and devoted fan base that will buy her music whether she gets played on radio or not. Here’s to hoping her pursuit of artistic integrity over commercial radio trends will be rewarded by her fans and maybe even expand their numbers.

  4. Baron Lane
    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I’m sure ‘Ran got tired of jockeying for that blond country music chart top stop. It’s pretty crowded nowadays…

    Good on Ms Lambert. Seems she’s following the trail of her Texas compadres The Dixie Chicks.

    I knew back when she cribbed Steve Earle’s “I Feel Alright” for “Kerosene” (and then came clean and shared royalties) she was headed for great things.

  5. Joe
    August 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Am I wrong or is this the second time over the past few days that we’ve seen the word “later” when it should’ve been “latter?”

    I really like this Lambert song but, I’m not kidding, that new Lady Antebellum one is drop-kickin’ me like Daniel-san did to that dude at the end of The Karate Kid.

  6. CF
    August 12, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    I am enjoying this one a lot more than “Dead Flowers”. Good choice. Love that strong usage of steel.

  7. Dan
    August 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Amen!!! “White Liar” is just plain Great!!! Miranda is never going to go with the Mainstream, and thats why as a Ran Fan I will always love her. Ran is just the best Female Act in Country Music to me!

  8. DEB
    August 12, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    It is clear that Miranda Lambert will enjoy longevity, unlike the teenybopper-top-40 artist that will always exists on the fringe. Miranda has safely and solidly positioned herself smack dab in the middle of CM. Her songs will prove to be timeless. Really like White Liar and look forward to the Revolution release.

  9. TenPoundHammer
    August 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    “Am I wrong or is this the second time over the past few days that we’ve seen the word “later” when it should’ve been “latter?””

    Yes, you should worry. Malec doesn’t believe in proofreading. I called him out on this once and he basically told me to get stuffed.

  10. Jim Malec
    August 12, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Excuse me?

  11. Brady Vercher
    August 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I called him out on this once and he basically told me to get stuffed.

    I’ll take the credit for that.

  12. nm
    August 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    But what sort of stuffing did you recommend?

  13. Brady Vercher
    August 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    The kind made of wood that doesn’t feel too good, I reckon. I didn’t realize it’d be taken so sensitively.

  14. Leeann Ward
    August 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I kind of think it’s classier to shoot an email if there’s a grammar or spelling error that you just can’t stand to overlook in an article rather than publicly point it out in a comment. But that’s just one of my unofficial commenting rules of etiquette.

  15. Jim Malec
    August 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    We are happy to correct any errors that our readers find.

  16. Leeann Ward
    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Of course.

    As far as this song goes, I like it better than “Dead Flowers”, but I’m not especially fond of it either.

  17. Razor X
    August 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I like this song far better than anything else she has done so far.

  18. gDigs
    August 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I do not understand something, I have a feeling that if Carrie Underwood or Kellie Pickler sang a song like this, you guys would call it bad. I think that this website just wants to support the opposite of what Country Radio is supporting. I will be honest that most of The9513′s reviews i do agree with however, I feel with the Female singers, the only ones you support are the ones radio is not supporting

  19. Chris N.
    August 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    I’ll say that if Miranda had sung “Just a Dream” it would have probably been more warmly received around here.

  20. trish
    August 12, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    It is amazing how the bias of these 9513 reviews. Carrie Underwood is clearly the best female act in country music. She also has one of if not the greatest voice in the history of country music among females. It appears like you want to go against the trend to make you look like an expert. I can’t wait to hear your review of Carrie’s new single. I hope you mention how she has expanded so much in her choice of song writers since that was an issue before!

  21. TenPoundHammer
    August 12, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    My bad, Brady and Jim. Sorry for the misattributed quote.

  22. Jim Malec
    August 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    We gave “Just a Dream” a Thumbs Up.

  23. Stormy
    August 12, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    that new Lady Antebellum one is drop-kickin’ me like Daniel-san did to that dude at the end of The Karate Kid

    Lamely and with a move that so completely telegraphs the outcome it is basically an invitation to an ass-whooping?

    I have a feeling that if Carrie Underwood or Kellie Pickler sang a song like this, you guys would call
    it bad.

    Because if Carrie Underwood had done this song it would have bad 80′s metal guitars in place of the steel and she would have screamed the whole thing.

  24. Chris D.
    August 12, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I want to hear this song so bad but the listening clips don;t work for me… Where else can I hear this?

  25. Dan Poltrictzky
    August 12, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    You can go hear it on Allaccess.com Hope thats helps.

  26. Rick
    August 12, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Why does this song title make me think of the film “Lair of the White Worm”? That is soooo not a good thing…(lol)

  27. Mirandas2cool
    August 12, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    First off i have to agree with you whole heartedly on this review.

    ” because as Lambert grows more comfortable with her place in the country music landscape she’ll undoubtedly feel more freedom to make music as she hears it in her heart and in her head, unencumbered by the need to please a group of people who really aren’t interested in her anyway.

    That’s an exciting thought, because this is an immensely compelling artist possessing a store of talent to which few can compare.”

    EXACTLY! Im so glad that people are starting to see that she DOESNT need to try to please everyone. She is one of the VERY few Nashville acts that hasnt completely sold out and lost all music integrity. White liar is a perfect example of that, and come Sept 29th Revolution will be flying off the shelves (or so i assume) whether or not shes had a top 20 on mainstream country radio.

    Trish: can we PLEASE not talk about Carrie Underwood in one review…thanks.

  28. Mirandas2cool
    August 12, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Also Stormy: Thats funny, and probably very accurate as well.

  29. Nicolas
    August 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Yes, I’m quite surprised at how big of a fan base Miranda’s had. Her first album had a single Top 20 hit and it came out like 6 months after the album had debuted at the top of the charts, and its gone Platinum.

    I think Revolution is going to be a big success

  30. Jon
    August 13, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Just curious – what’s spectacular about the barely audible steel track?

  31. Fadi H.
    August 13, 2009 at 7:33 am

    “can we PLEASE not talk about Carrie Underwood in one review…thanks.”
    SERIOUSLY!!! Plus, I think it’s only polite to message someone privately about a grammatical mistake coz people don’t want to read 10 posts about grammar when we’re interested in what people have to say about the MIRANDA LAMBERT song.

    I’ve only listened to the song 3 times so far, but i keep singing it all day. Now it’s not really my favorite miranda song coz it doesn’t give me the feeling of: i wish i was a woman just to be in her shoes and sing that song! Yet, i think it’s a very solid song. I don’t know what plays on country radio in the states, but this song has the play me again and again effect. plus it’s very easy to memorize and sing along, so i kind of think it was aimed for radio success. it doesn’t matter though how well it does on the radio, i don’t think a good artist cares anymore when “kiss a girl” became a top 5 hit.

  32. Rick Kennis
    August 13, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Great song!

    We are playing it on 97.5 the Hound in PA!
    Getting a great response, too:)

    -Rick

  33. Debbie W.
    August 13, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    A big thumbs up for sure! I love this song, and am hoping radio DOES play it. I still love “Dead Flowers” and it didn’t go anywhere, very sad. I anxiously await the release of “Revolution” on September 29th. Although I know we all talk about how it’s ok if Ran is not played on radio, I am hoping she gets that #1 song soon….she deserves it…(as she so deserved and received the ACM Album of the Year for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”). Miranda will be around for a long time, and she will get many awards and #1′s in due time!

  34. Janette
    September 5, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I love White Liar, as well as Maintain The Pain, and Only Prettier (songs that will also be on Miranda’s new album) She keeps getting better and better, I have a feeling Revolution is going to be her best album to date!
    She truly is the most real female country artist on the scene today. I don’t care what anybody says. Being a songwriter myself, I may be a little bias, but this girl’s got killer songs, style, and staying power. Rock on Miranda! :)

  35. Audra
    September 23, 2009 at 10:09 am

    We play it, and not as filler! It’s a great song and well received by our listeners.

  36. Mirandas2cool
    September 23, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    White Liar is now Top 40 (about 35th actually) The video is slated for world premiere on CMT Oct.2-4. Miranda is also debuting her whole new album (Revolution- 9/29/09) tomorrow at the Ryman (which is sold out i might add). GO RAN!

  37. Rob
    September 24, 2009 at 8:03 am

    I’m so glad I have Satellite Radio so I can hear Miranda’s new music. The local stations mostly play mainstream top-40 country over and over and over.

  38. JoFresh
    September 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Man I can’t wait for her new album Revolution. I’ve loved everything so far that she’s done. http://www.myspace.com/mirandalambert

  39. Lori
    October 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Cracks me up when people snot up a blog with comments and complaints that have nothing to do with what the blog is about. Miranda Lambert may as well be top county shlock rock (or whatever that one guy was calling it), but White Liar ia a great song and you should give credit where credit is due. If you don’t like it, then move on down the road and find something you do like.

  40. Dan
    November 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

    White Liar is currently #21 on the Top 40 country songs. I hear it here outside of Birmingham at least once a day on the radio. Good stuff.

  41. Frozenphan
    November 5, 2009 at 10:17 am

    “Country radio isn’t going to come within 100 feet of this, of course.”
    It’s one of the most played songs on the station that I hump the hits on.
    Yeah, it took us a few months…but we’re there.

  42. Jim Malec
    November 5, 2009 at 11:03 am

    I’m glad that my prediction turned out to be wrong this time!

  43. richard
    January 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Here it is 5 months later and this song has done so great and it’s almost #1.

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