Single Review: Miranda Lambert, “Heart Like Mine”

It’s hard to tell when Miranda Lambert is being herself and when she’s posturing.  I think on “Heart Like Mine,” she’s doing both, which makes my head heart a little bit.

The chorus is solid, the second verse about her father and her brother are quietly revealing and fully believable. I love the message about Jesus and how he’d very well love her just the way she is.

But I don’t believe for a second that she’s the kind of girl that you don’t take home to mama. She expresses her love for family too openly in the rest of the song to think that she’d be someone who you couldn’t introduce to your mother. And I don’t believe that Christians are getting in her face about cigarette smoking, and she’s demurely saying “God Bless,” either.

Lambert’s a stunningly talented singer and songwriter, but like her rough male equivalent, Jamey Johnson, she has these “I’m an outlaw! Really! I mean it!” moments that ring hollow to me and distract from the overall excellence of her work.  Just being herself would be good enough.  An original is always worth more than a copy.

Written by Travis Howard, Miranda Lambert, and Ashley Monroe

Grade: B

Listen: Heart Like Mine

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24 Comments

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24 Responses to Single Review: Miranda Lambert, “Heart Like Mine”

  1. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    I pretty much agree. And though I expected it, I’m disappointed this is the fifth and probably final single over “Me and Your Cigarettes.”

  2. Mike M.No Gravatar

    I like it but I agree with Dan that is not as good as “Me and Your Cigarettes.” However, just as a gut feeling, I don’t think radio would play “Me and Your Cigarettes.” It almost seems like there is too much thinking involved for it to be a radio hit in the current atmosphere. I just got really sad.

  3. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    Nah, I agree, Mike. Radio didn’t seem to get “Only Prettier,” either. I guess I should just be thankful that “The House That Built Me” got to be a 4-week #1 and chill.

  4. plain_joNo Gravatar

    I was secretly hoping that “Time to Get a Gun” or “Airstream Song” would be singles………

  5. DevinNo Gravatar

    I mostly agree with this review. I don’t take as much exception to the line about being one you don’t take home to mama. Miranda has a few tattoos, according to the song, smokes, etc. While the ‘characters’ true colors show in the rest of the song, it’s appearances that people are seeming to judge her by, and I think that’s where the whole not taking her home to mama thing comes in. Just how I saw it.

    I did think the whole Christians getting on her about smoking was a little silly and off base, but a small gripe.

    I still really like listening to this song, and will, unfortunately, watch as it flounders at radio like most genuinely good, smart songs.

  6. I like the song, but I can believe she’s abad-ass since she has a concealed weapons license.:)

  7. As much as I would have loved “Time To Get A Gun” as a single, radio wouldn’t play it and many would take offense to a song openly advocating owning a gun.

    When thinking about the fifth single from Revolution, it came down to “Heart Like Mine” and “Makin’ Plans” for me. “Airstream Song” and “Me and Your Cigarettes” work well within the context of the album but wouldn’t work as singles. They’re just not the type of song country radio would ever play. But the album wouldn’t be the smash it is without them.

    “Heart Like Mine” has a good chance at making it at radio. I expect it will be a hit, just like “White Liar.” The first verse does come off as Miranda trying to be tough, but I can’t find any reason for radio not to play it. It’s safe enough not to push any buttons yet edgy enough to be authentic to Miranda without pandering to radio.

    Also, radio may have not known what to do with “Only Prettier,” but it did reach a very respectable #12. It bombed in comparison to her two previous singles, but #12 is nothing to sneeze at.

  8. I think it’s a nice sentiment about Jesus loving her just the way she is, but I don’t really like the execution. I think a better way to make that point would be to emphasize how Jesus always sees the good in people. Instead, she just says that Jesus “drank wine.” That’s true, but that statement makes it sound like she’s trying to make a case for Jesus having the same wild and rebellious streak that she does, which just doesn’t fit.

    Ultimately, I think this sounds too much like a hollow attempt to further her bad girl image. I hate to say that, since I’ve loved just about every single she’s released over the past few years, and I’ve really grown to respect her as an artist, but I’m just not feeling this one.

  9. TomNo Gravatar

    …i think one has to grant a fair deal of artistic freedom to songwriters in order to allow them all sorts of personal views on themes that will be used for songs. obviously, miranda lambert has these moments, when she reveals a slightly darker side of her character – the resulting records are usually very enjoyable like this one.

    the production, however, doesn’t support her vocals – in fact it even makes the song kinda difficult to understand. if this song doesn’t go all the way to the top, the production team shouldn’t wonder, why the fell off her christmas card list.

  10. While it’s not her best, I still enjoy it very much, what I like about Lambert is that she has yet to put out a single that has really disappointed me or that I didn’t like at all.

  11. I really figured they’d release “Love Song”, since it’s the most radio friendly of the album and a couple of members of Lady A co-wrote it. I’d much rather this song, but I agree with Ben on his Jesus point. I understand her point, but the execution of it kind of makes me cringe, as it seems oversimplified or sloppy.

  12. I’m a little surprised that so many people are indifferent to this track. Personally, it was one of my favorites from Revolution right from the start. I guess I don’t hear the posturing that Kevin hears, and to me, this song is one of the more subtle reminders of Miranda’s tough-girl image. It doesn’t hit you over the head or yell in your face like ‘Gunpowder and Lead’ or even stumble over its metaphors like ‘Dead Flowers’. But I think this song’s best asset is that it’s not marred by bells and whistles and a lot of clackety-clack – which nearly ruins ‘That’s The Way That The World Goes ‘Round’ for me.

  13. I also want to chime on the ‘Jesus drank wine’ and ‘he’ll love me just as I am’ thoughts … To me, it simply sounds like she’s humanizing Jesus and putting him on a personal, human level, right there with herself – all done in the pursuit spiritual knowledge, redemption, and all those other religious buzzwords. It’s not ‘Just A Closer Walk With Thee’, but I think it gets its point across in an original, clever way. Still, I can see how the connotation might offend some Christians, and just perplex others.

  14. It doesn’t offend me; it just could have been better.

    I agree with you about the production, though I love the John Prine cover for the craziness that it is.

  15. I don’t mind some posturing in a song if the singer is believable. To me, Miranda is believable, even if she exaggerates. The same goes for Jamey Johnson. In fact, I assume that they’re both exaggerating their personas in their songs. It wouldn’t be so believable if, lets say, Alan Jackson sang “High Cost of Living” or if Carrie Underwood sang “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” or even this song. It works for Lambert though, because it’s very believable that she’s rough around the edges to me, even if it’s exaggerated in her songs.

  16. I agree totally about the believability factor, Leeann. I was thinking that, but you said it better.

  17. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    “To me, it simply sounds like she’s humanizing Jesus and putting him on a personal, human level, right there with herself”

    This is how I think about it, too, although I agree with Ben and Leeann that it’s sloppy. That’s my general feeling about the song, really – a pleasant effort that just didn’t quite work out to be first-rate Miranda.

  18. KNo Gravatar

    “To me, it simply sounds like she’s humanizing Jesus and putting him on a personal, human level, right there with herself”

    I agree; that’s a great point. I think the song still has the great songwriting of Miranda’s past singles, and it’s refreshing to hear her sing something that isn’t a straight ballad or bad girl anthem.
    She has a convincible air about her that works well within the context of the song. Average lyrics they may be, but it wouldn’t be as celever in the hands of another artist.

    I agree with JR’s points as well- this is also one of my favorite tracks on “Revolution,” and I appreciate the brash undercoat that isn’t repeatdly nailed over the listeners head.

    After the release of so many well-written (yet radio friendly) cuts from “Revolution,” I’ll be interested to see which direction she aims for with the next record.

    I could see her staying within the pattern, simply because she’s had so much success, but I’m hoping it’s a mix of her trademark grit and more reserved, side. I never got into Miranda’s music until she decided to mix the two, but I just hope she doesn’t fall into a rut or do something darastic with the next album.

  19. Susan K.No Gravatar

    This and “Airstream Song” were my two favorite tracks on “Revolution”. I have a hard time imagining how it could have been done better? I really like the lyrics and themes of both, and neither suffered from the “loudness” of the rest of the album. The fact that Ashley Monroe co-wrote it, is the cherry on top.

  20. LeahNo Gravatar

    I really like the single. Just a great personal song for her. Hope it goes to #1!!!!

  21. Hard TimesNo Gravatar

    Apropos of very little, “Only Prettier” bugged me initially but now I absolutely love it. Go figure.

  22. Paul DennisNo Gravatar

    Agree with assigning it a “B” – it’s not a great song, and by now I’ve heard enough that I am sort of indifferent to it but carries a message rather than simply being just another ditty

  23. KatieRNo Gravatar

    I wish she would release “Maintain the Pain” or “Airstream Song”. My two fave songs on the album other than “the House that Built Me”.

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