If people were to judge Miranda Lambert’s songwriting abilities by what they have heard on the radio, they might be justified in assuming that her strength lied in songs steeped in defiant attitude. They may not realize that Lambert is capable of writing and singing a ballad that is either on par or, perhaps, even beyond the energetic, self assured songs for which she is so well known.
“More Like Her”, her fourth release from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, is the first time that casual listeners have an opportunity to hear Lambert’s vulnerable side. She gives us a glimpse into a situation where she is not necessarily in charge. “I guess I should have been more like her”, she sardonically observes, as she struggles with the fact that the man that she loves is torn between her and the woman who we assume to be his ex. Lambert sings, “Forgiving you well she’s stronger than I am/You don’t look much like a man from where I’m at/It’s plain to see desperation showed it’s truth/You love her as she loves you with all she has/I guess I should have been more like that.”
With this song of sad resignation, Lambert displays her keen interpretive skills. The disappointment and vulnerability is very palpable in her vocals. Furthermore, the song is appropriately supported by a gentle production that adds to Lambert’s fragility.
In an album full of very strong material, I’d argue that one of its more quiet songs makes one of the most powerful impressions.
Written by Miranda Lambert
Listen: More Like Her
Buy: More Like Her
It’s going to be very, very interesting to watch this single. It’s the most understated and emotionally complex mainstream release I think I’ve seen this year, and normally that would all but guarantee its failure. But Lambert is right on the heels of her first top ten and has never been more visible or interesting, so it may just attract the attention it deserves.
I’ve always wished the song painted a more specific picture of its situation, though. She speaks mostly in broad judgments about the people involved in the love triangle, rather than in explicit observations of the events pertaining to it, and that approach made it a little hard for me to follow the story and really sympathize with her character the first few times I listened to the song. Ultimately, once I sort of filled in the blanks, I liked it a lot. But I do worry that most of the country audience isn’t going to be willing to fill in those blanks.
I wondered about that and I fully expect that other reviewers will feel the same way, but I’m kind of glad there weren’t specifics. To me, the specifics could threaten to detract from the song. I don’t think she didn’t include the specifics out of laziness or lack of imagination as some might suggest, but rather for artistic purposes.
At any rate, this is the song that made me really pay attention to Lambert in the first place. I clicked on it when CMT.com had the album on their site and I was very impressed. So, I listened to the rest of the album and loved it, so then went back to her debut album as well.
I agree that it was probably a clear artistic choice on her part; everything about the song feels very carefully crafted. Just my personal taste, I guess. I still give her a lot of props for writing such an emotionally complex piece; that’s my favorite aspect of it. And I forgot to say good job on the review, but I feel like that goes without saying at this point.
Here’s something that she wrote in a track by track description of the album about the song that might give the song some context. It was written in 2007, just before the album came out:
“That’s a really personal song I wrote not long ago, when I was going through a lot of stuff. I had a situation where there was another woman who I felt
was getting the things I wanted. It almost scared me to put it on the record, it was so personal and introspective. But my fans deserve that from me, so
I just need to go for it. I felt it so much in the studio, and you can hear it in my voice. This is the first time I’ve let myself be that vulnerable.”
I’m usually the girl who won’t take any crap, but that’s not realistic all the time.”
I believe this is her 4th single from the record as they originally released the title track before switching to “Famous in a Small Town” then on to “Gunpowder & Lead.” Other than that, this is a great review of a very good song. :)
this is one of my favorites on the record and i hoped it would be a single. it gives a chance to really focus on her writing and i like the way she sings it gently
Desperation is my favorite of her quieter numbers on this album, but More Like Her is a solid song. I really hope it’s a hit for her; wouldn’t want to see her get pigeon-holed as the angry chick since there’s so much more to her than that. Nice review.
This is one of those things that seems to be up for debate. I remember thinking it was a single at one point, but I also recall that neither Sony nor Miranda officially confirmed that it was a single. I suspect that they put feelers out on it and then decided against keeping as a single. It’s all confusing to me, anyway. It seems kind of like James Otto’s “Ain’t Gonna Stop”, which we thought was a single, but now is claimed not to have been one.
Trailer, I’m quite fond of “Desperation” as well.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love her “angry” stuff too.
After further research into the matter, it seems that you are actually right. So, I’ll edit the review to reflect your correction. Thanks.
I think they’d be smart to re-release that song maybe next spring as a bridge to her next album…
CXG was one of 2-3 favorite country releases of last year, but this may be my least favorite of a great batch of songs. Nothing bad about the song, but nothing that steals my imagination.
Heh! “Desperation” is my #1 from this album with “More Like Her” my #3. I love the vulnerable side of Miranda.
That whole angry chick thing you like so much Leeann? See JHD’s Rule #103: Never date a woman that can kick your butt! ;-)
Great review btw!
What’s your #2? Don’t leave me hangin’ like this.:)
I really like “Famous in a Small Town”. It reminds me so much of where I grew up. It’s like Miranda knows all the same people I know. Heh!
I was actually surprised they led with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” instead of “Famous” frankly. When I first heard the album I thought for sure they’d draw in fans with Famous before going into the Crazy stuff.
Shows you how much I know! ;-)
I have to say that I am glad that she is releasing a slower, quiter song, so that people can hear this side of her — while I love her kick your ass songs — some of my favorites from her are her slower softer side songs — I believe that my favorite from this album is “Desperation” as well, but my all time favorite is “Greyhound Bound for Nowhere”
JHD, I love “Famous In A Small Town” too. I think it’s rather clever and describes my husband’s small town quite accurately, though he’s never been quite as amused by it as Miranda seems to be.
I should mention that “Desperation” has one of my favorite lines by Miranda in it, the first line: “Give a dog a bone, I’ll take it if I have to.”
I also like this song, but I think Desperation would still be better, but I like this one a lot too. I personally hope it does well at radio.
I personally think it’s overrated. Another break-up ballad. It’s good, but not great. Love Letters, Dry Town, Desperation and Down were all superior songs.