Artist Outlook 2011: Miranda Lambert

December 22nd, 2010 2 Comments

Miranda LambertWhat does 2011 have in store for Miranda Lambert?

She’s only 27, but the past 5 or 6 years must have been amazing for Miranda Lambert. Since her proper debut album in 2005 she’s garnered back to back Album of the Year awards as well as a Female Vocalist of the Year award just this year.

It’s hard to imagine things could reach a higher point than 2010 for Miranda. Along with her first number one single, Album of the Year, and first headlining tour she got engaged to longtime boyfriend and fellow artist Blake Shelton. There is much to smile about for Miranda this past year even with the snub from CMT for their Artists of the Year show. I’ll let that slide this time since the other artists are certainly deserving.

It’s been an unbelievably busy year for Miranda Lambert and yet one has to think this is only the beginning for one of country music’s true treasures.

Miranda Lambert 2011

The first time Miranda had an Album of the Year award all she did was come out with her next album and win the same award again. That’s an unreal accomplishment for any artist. It can take a lifetime to build up to an achievement like an Album of the Year award from your industry leaders and peers and then to be able to do the same after only two more years is truly remarkable.

Miranda keeps setting the bar high for herself and country fans are loving everything she’s putting out these days. For the last three albums it’s taken Miranda about two years between releases and that puts 2011 as the year for the next album. Miranda fans should be looking for a new single this summer and perhaps a new album in the fall. We can only expect greatness and even if the album doesn’t win any awards it’s sure to be full of heart, passion, and authentic country music.

New Single

To get 2011 started though Miranda is releasing the fifth single from her current album Revolutionand it happens to be my favorite song of her’s up to this point. Heart Like Mineis set to be the next single for Miranda and  I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year.

Some fans and industry critics may think five singles from one album is overkill, but it’s always the greatest albums that have tons of singles. The only proof I have for that comment is a few albums I can think of off the top of my head. A lead single to an album can spark interest and initial sales, but it’s always the quality of the subsequent singles that drives sales to huge numbers.

Hardcore fans will get Miranda’s music and attend her shows no matter what, but the more hit singles she racks up the more the casual fans will pay attention. A fifth single from one album is a great accomplishment. Shania Twain used to do it with her albums. I think Faith Hill has done it a few times and Mary Chapin Carpenter did it with her biggest album to date.

Next Album

What can fans expect from Miranda as far as new material in 2011?

As I mentioned above this is the year for a new release from Miranda. She has released each of her previous albums every year on the odd year marks since her 2005 debut. Sticking to that routine would make the fall of 2011 the time for a new release with the lead single released probably sometime around August.

It’s hard to imagine putting the expectations of yet another Album of the Year on the shoulders of any artist, but Miranda has set the bar so high for herself coming into this year. She was able to follow up her first Album of the Year with another. Why not make it three times a charm?

In all reality there is no reason to expect Miranda to win awards for next album. The real reward will come from the fans when they head out and pick up the new music and pack the stands when Miranda headlines shows in 2011. The fans are sure to be treated to some new, never before heard music when they attend those shows this summer.

Based on the music Miranda has put out on her first three albums it’s a near sure thing to expect more great country music with a little attitude and rock mixed in.

Miranda Lambert is a unique personality in country music and there’s a reason she’s at the top of the game right now.

Outside of Music

Everyone in country music including the fans know Miranda is planning to get hitched soon. Will it happen in 2011? It just may. The rumor is for a spring weddingMiranda says she’s ready and Reba McEntire is ready for the big day too.

I’m an avid deer hunter, which is another reason I’m a Miranda Lambert fan. She’s been a hunter her whole life according to her own account. Here’s a pic from 2009 of her and Blake Shelton in their hunting gear.

Miranda frequently mentions her little slice of heaven in the form of her farm down in Texas. I remember she used to tweet every once and a while when she was in her treestand. I’m not sure she did that this fall. She must still love hunting though. It sounds like venison is on the menu for her upcoming wedding. Yum.

It’d be awesome if Miranda wrote a blog about her hunting adventures that included some pics of her bucks. That’s probably not going to happen, but it’d be pretty cool. From all the stories of her hunting adventures it sounds like she’s a real trophy hunter full of woods-wise talent.

Conclusion

Miranda Lambert is at a peak right now in her career.

Up to this point she’s treated everything in her career as just a stepping stone to something bigger. It’s hard to bet against her having another huge year in 2011, but it’s going to be tough.

For some reason Miranda’s songs aren’t the kind of singles that consistently hit the top spot on the charts. Her music is, however, the kind that gets attention. She gets a line in the sand and is true to herself and her feelings. That is a formula for success in my book. If you’re trying to please everybody you’re going to please nobody.

I think 2011 is going to be another banner year for Miranda Lambert.

Discussion

What are your thoughts on Miranda Lambert in 2011?

Will she be able to reach new heights in her career?

Are you excited about her next single and possibly new music later in the year?

Bonus Video – Heart Like Mine

Shop all Miranda Lambert

Dayne Shuda

Founder of Country Music Life. Follow on Twitter: @dayneshuda Follow on Google+: Dayne Shuda

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2 Comments »

  • Roger said:

    I am a husband, father, grandfather and semi-retired pastor pushing age 70. I am also an alcoholic, sober for over twelve years but very aware of how my addiction weakened me physically, spiritually and emotionally to the point where I accomplished much less than hoped for in any of my callings.

    A young country singer makes me reconsider my approach to faith, life and preaching. Listening to her songs, I am learning to use my experience as a forgiven sinner to help others understand what hurting and being hurt, forgiving and being forgiven, being addicted and being freed from it, are all about. The singer’s name is Miranda Lambert.

    Miranda’s songs challenge me intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Several of them, such as “Heart Like Mine,” “White Liar” and “Sin for a Sin” on her album REVOLUTION, should be studied in any seminary or other school which prepares men and women to minister to today’s young people.

    Miranda sings tough-girl songs and her theology (for it is indeed theology although Miranda probably wouldn’t call it that) is tough as well. “I ain’t the kind you take home to mama, I ain’t the kind to wear no ring,” “Here’s a bombshell just for you, Turns out that I’ve been lying too” and “I need to repent a sin for a sin,” Miranda confesses as she sings, respectively, the three songs mentioned above.

    At the end of “Heart Like Mine,” Miranda reminds us of something we wishy-washy sinners often forget. She reminds us that Jesus was tough, too. He hung out with sinners like the one Miranda portrays in her songs. “Jesus, He drank wine. And I bet we’d get along just fine. He could calm a storm and heal the blind. And I bet He’d understand a heart like mine.”

    Miranda trusts that “I’ll fly away from it all one day. I’ll fly away. These are the days that I will remember when my name’s called on the roll. He’ll meet me with two long-stemmed glasses and make a toast to me coming home.” Sounds like the son who loses his toughness along with his money and comes home to a banquet put on by his father in his honor in the most famous story that Jesus ever told (Luke 15:11-32).

    What a warm welcome Jesus will give Miranda because he knows her and loves her! She doesn’t need to apologize to Jesus as she had to apologize when she revisited her childhood home, “The House That Built Me,” with all its memories. “Ma’am,” she had to say to the house’s new owner then, “I know you don’t know me from Adam, but . . .” She won’t have to say that to Jesus. He knows her from Adam.

    “Heart Like Mine” reminds me of the old man who can see God’s face at the end of his suffering in Carrie Underwood’s “Temporary Home.” But that’s another side of God, the tender side, the Father. Just as true, but different. Miranda sings about Jesus the Son, tough enough to endure a cross. Carrie and Miranda give us two images of the heavenly welcome home. Is either of them (which one?) “only prettier” than the other?

    Jesus drank wine just like the lover in the Biblical Song of Songs, the lover whom Jews consider a symbol of God and Christians consider a symbol of Jesus. The lover welcomes his beloved into his garden with wine and sings, “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. (Song of Songs 5:1)

    Didn’t Jesus promise to drink wine with his friends in Heaven? At the Last Supper he took a cup of wine, gave thanks to His Father and gave it to his friends, saying “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom” (Matthew 26:29)?

    Christian theologians have spilled a lot of ink trying to develop a theology of marriage that covers all of its spiritual and emotional aspects. Miranda covers the subject in a song as she creates a wonderful exchange of vows:

    Minister: “Blake, If you come in one morning and find Miranda standing there cryin’ in the kitchen, will you wrap your arms around her so that she doesn’t even have to say a thing?”

    Blake: “I will.”

    Minister: “Miranda, if Blake comes in, slams the door behind him and can’t hide the worry on his face, even though you’ve got a million things to tell him, will you accept that right now he just needs some space?”

    Miranda: “I will.”

    Minister: “That’s what makes it love. That’s what makes it a love song. Everybody always sings about it. Now you’re never gonna live without it. You don’t even have to talk about it ’cause you’re living it out. And because you have promised to live it out, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

    Until now I have perhaps made it seem that Miranda’s songs relate only to an individual’s emotions and personal relationships with Jesus and with other individuals. And it’s true that Miranda sings about one’s personal addiction to things and to people who make one feel good (“Me and Your Cigarettes”), about individual pain (“Maintain the Pain”), about protecting oneself against personal attacks (“Time to Get a Gun”), and about one’s desire not to be tied down (“Airstream Song”) .

    But the final song brings to light the community and ecological dimensions of any genuine faith. Jesus loved to compare heaven to growing things like a tiny mustard seed which grew into a tree so large that the birds could make a home in it. If Jesus had lived in America, he might have compared heaven to the tiny Virginia bluebell, which only requires that we give it “a sunny place to grow:”

    “Pretty little thing, sometimes you gotta look up and let the world see all the beauty that you’re made of. . . . Even through a stone a flower can bloom. . . . Put a little light in the darkest places. Put a little smile on the saddest faces.” It sounds like Jesus telling His followers not only that He is the light of the world (John 8:12 and 9:15) but also that “You are the light of the World. Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16)

    The light of the world shines from a tiny flower and from the most insignificant people. The greatest and biggest thoughts are expressed in the tiniest images. Otherwise, how could we ever grasp them?
    I’ll end with a note of whimsy which strikes me whenever I hear the refrain of “Only Prettier:” “So let’s shake hands and reach across those party lines. You’ve got your friends just like I’ve got mine. We might think a little differently, but we’ve got a lot in common you will see. We’re just like you, only prettier.” I always imagine Sarah Palin singing those words to Nancy Pelosi or perhaps vice versa. They and their friends might actually accomplish something worthwhile for humankind and for God if they did in fact “Shake hands and reach across those party lines.” Too much to hope for?

    I hope Miranda continues to enjoy challenging us theologians with her songs throughout 2011 and beyond. She does it so well.

  • Dayne Shuda (author) said:

    Thank you for the wonderful comment, Roger.

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