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Miranda Lambert, ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ – Song Review

Mama's Broken Heart
RCA Nashville

Dark and volatile are this year’s black in country music, and Miranda Lambert reminds fans she is still the lead diva of danger with a new single called ‘Mama’s Broken Heart.’ Her performance is every bit as enjoyably unstable as previous hits like ‘Kerosene’ and ‘Gunpowder and Lead.’ When she’s mercurial, she’s magic. 

Lambert calls her fourth single from ‘Four the Record’ the one song she couldn’t live without on the album. She didn’t write it (credit goes to Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves), but she says she’s been that girl before, and her mother is definitely that woman shouting:

Go and fix your makeup girl, it’s just a breakup / Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady / Cause I raised you better, gotta keep it together / Even when you fall apart / But this ain’t my mama’s broken heart.”

The song rides on much more than just Lambert’s sincere first-person narrative, however. There’s a sparseness to the song’s production that lets dabs of guitar and wisps of deep, exhausted breaths set the mood for this theatrical three minutes of suspense. It’s yet another that gets one excited for the music video, although in truth we’ll have already drawn the barflies, baptists and small town chatter-bugs in our head a thousand times before it airs.

Wish I could be just a little less dramatic / Like a Kennedy when Camelot went down in flames / Leave it to me to be holdin’ the matches / When the firetrucks show up and there’s nobody else to blame,” Lambert sings to begin the second verse. Again with the fire, but flames fit her like Wranglers fit George Strait.

As a fourth single, there isn’t going to be quite the commotion around this song that there might have been had she revealed it before the album was released in November 2011 (almost 700,000 country fans know it well already). One fears she may wear the revenge genre out one day, but much like the Mayan apocalypse, that day seems more like an imaginative invention than something that is bound to take place soon.

4.5 Stars

Listen to Miranda Lambert, ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’

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Next: See the Top 10 Songs of 2012

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