Single Review: Miranda Lambert, “Over You”

First, a disclaimer.

I like Miranda Lambert.  I really do like her.  She is a talented vocalist, and a smart, insightful songwriter.  She is among the most interesting and credible artists currently favored by country radio, and I await each of her new releases with a significantly higher level of interest than I do with many of her contemporaries.

And now the inevitable truth:  “Over You” is a really boring song.

I’m aware of the back story behind it.  Yes, it was inspired by the death of husband Blake Shelton’s brother.  That alone doesn’t automatically make it a great song.  “Over You” is clogged up with superficial, cliché phrasing and awkward, juvenile rhyme schemes (“February/scary, December/remember”) set to a clunky, uninspired melody.

There’s only one bit in the song that carries much poignancy: it’s when Lambert sings about the deceased one’s favorite records, musing “I know you didn’t mean to give them to me.”  Beyond that, the song offers precious little insight into the scenario, with the bland chorus vaguely declaring “But you went away.  How dare you?  I miss you.  They say I’ll be okay, but I’ll never get over you.”

This is Lady Antebellum-boring.  Miranda Lambert is so, so much better than this.  The fact that she wrote the song herself along with Shelton only adds to the disappointment.  Miranda’s songs are supposed to pop.  They’re supposed to stick with you – to have you attacking the replay button and scanning the lyric sheet to get the full meaning of the lyric.  This song is so forgettable that you can listen to it twice without it leaving any substantial dent in your memory.  I have to be honest here.  If Blake Shelton were the one singing, I would have panned this to the wall – I can’t give Miranda a free pass just because she’s Miranda.

There’s no point in dancing around it.  This is just a poorly written song.

Written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton

Grade:  D+

Listen:  Over You


    I have never lost a love one but i can somehow relate to it. the Song is beautiful. I agree that the point she has better material on her new album but in no means is this a poorly written song and not good.

    Worst Review Ever

  2. Ben that was an excellent review. You are one of the finest critics of country music that I have even read. Your reviews are so smart. Whether I agree with your review or not, it is always a great pleasure to read one of your reviews. I reread twice.

  3. This is such a great and honest review. However, I really like the song. I think it has a darkness to it that makes it interesting. Not just that it’s about something tragic, but it just feels kind of dark and kind of gloomy, and I like that aspect of it. But I love that you are a Miranda fan and still say that this is a Lady Antebellum song. In other words, we disagree on the song, but your review was terrific.

  4. Chances are you may be right, but at the same time I lost my Dad a few years back when I was a 12 and all I have to say is that if more songs like this were written and released to radio, well let’s just say it’s good free therapy.

  5. Great review Ben. I agree this is one of her, if not the, weakest singles to date, but I would give it a C- mainly because for some reason the way she sings the chorus I get this feeling of confusion that really sticks with me. With that said, everything else I agree, and you can really tell Blake had a larger hand in writing this than Miranda just because of the contrast in some of the lyrical qualities.

  6. I’m kind of shocked by the grade here. I didn’t expect something this direct and somewhat harsh. But Ben, what makes you an outstanding writer is you don’t beat around the bush but rather say exactly how you feel without fear of offending anyone. I don’t know many people who could do that. I wrote a negative review of a Julie Roberts song and got a e-mail in response from her music department saying I was unfair in my evaluation of the song.

    While “Over You” isn’t as direct in its meaning than “The House That Built Me” I still think it’s an okay song. I don’t understand how many of the lyrics relate to someone’s death but rather a break-up. Would Blake Shelton really say “you went away, how dare you?” as in how dare this happen in the first place? As if Richie planned this whole thing out to die so young?

    But what sells the song for me is Miranda’s conviction when she sings the chorus. I can feel the pain she’s trying to conjure up. But again, it doesn’t feel like the pain of someone’s death but rather a painful break-up.

    And I agree with the assesment of the production. I fully expected much more in terms of traditional country elements including more prominant steel guitar. This does sound popper to me.

    But I’d give the song more like a B- or B. It isn’t the greatest song she’s ever recorded yet it’s a lot better than what I’d give a D+ (or lower) including “Red Solo Cup” and “Bait A Hook.”

  7. I think you are correct about the first verse with the silly ryhmes. I respect your reviews and generally agree with them but not this time. This song is really good. She doesn’t need to hide behind some flashy chorus instead she delivers a raw and honest declaration of how she (or blake) feels. It probably just connected with me in a different way then it did you but thats the amazing thing about songs isn’t it?

  8. Though it was inevitable, bummed this got picked as a single. That makes 2 out of the 3 weak songs on the album going to radio, and I wouldn’t be surprised if “Better in the Long Run” pulls off the trifecta eventually.

    But I can hear where this song might have sounded a little better with Shelton singing it as they wrote it. His voice is fuller and grittier and would have given the chorus some punch. Still wouldn’t have been an interesting song, though – no melody in addition to the bland lyrics.

  9. This is my least favorite song off the album…scratch that…my second least favorite song off the album (behind “Fine Tune,” of course). I completely agree with pretty much your entire review…except that part where you call Lady A boring (you probably know by now that I’m a tad obsessed), but I’ll that one slide.

    Anywho, back to Miranda. I’m not understanding why she’s releasing this as a single. Is it her turn to ride on Blake’s coattails like he did last year? She’s a far better artist than this song suggests.

  10. I want to like this song, but I don’t. I was worried about it as soon as I heard she co-wrote this song with Shelton. He also cowrote “Love Song” from “Revolution” which is probably the weakest track on an otherwise outstanding album. This song would probably be so much better if Miranda had not written this song with Blake.

    I hate to sound like a heartless snot, but I don’t really care who she wrote the song with, or what it is about. She is so much better than this, and it’s not even good enough enough to be on any Miranda Lambert album IMO.

    It seems this song was purposely written from a general standpoint so it’s open to interpretation, but considering Miranda has an uncanny knack for recording songs that are both personal and of great quality, I really don’t like the idea of the song being written like that.

    This one is a big thumbs down in my book.

  11. Thank you for this honest review. I was disappointed that this has been chosen as the second single. The lyrics are weak, I was taken aback that Miranda, who is such a great songwriter, had a hand in writing this. The only positive aspect about this song is Miranda’s heartfelt vocals, but that isn’t enough to salvage this song.

  12. Radio will eat it up because they are the IT couple right now and they wrote it together which for some reason means it should be magic! If an artist is lucky enough to be in the spotlight right now….they can do no wrong. Sorry, I’m a bit sarcastic and fed up with the way Country Music is going right now. When you have someone like Taylor Swift ruling CM now, then what’s left for the older folks? I heard her singing O Holy Night on the radio this morning and I couldn’t get to the off button quick enough! It was terrible.

  13. Gloria I’m not sure you were listening to Taylor Swift this morning, as far as I know she has never recorded O Holy Night.

    As far as Over You goes, I like this song. Oh well to each their own.

  14. I’m kinda surprised everyone thinks it’s just an okay song? Maybe I just like it because of the emotion that she seems to put into it which I think makes it rise above any of the lyric flaws. IMHO I think this is one of the better singles released to country radio this year, and kind of daring since drinking and songs about romance seem to still be the trendy thing to do if you want to get a popular song on radio.

  15. I’m personally stunned at the negative response this song has gotten.

    I think it’s flawless. Everything about it is, to me, beautiful. The conviction Miranda puts into the brutally sweet vocal given to these strong, yet very simple, lyrics seems like a match so polarizing that it works extremely well.

    I personally hope this goes #1 and stays there. It’s probably one of my favorites off of “Four the Record”.

  16. I lost 2 of the closest people in my life over the last five years, my dad and grandmother. This song brought a tear ato my eye and is one of the best songs I’ve herd recently. I was only 22 when dad passed and this song says exactly how I felt. I felt like I still needed my dad so I give it an A+ . I think maybe if you had lived through what I and some of these other folks have you might have a different appreciation of the song.

  17. I actually do quite like this song, but I have a big problem with it, and that’s that it isn’t as good as it should be.

    A song by Miranda Lambert about a deceased, missed relative should be deeply emotional and cutting and frankly has the potential to be mind-blowing. This just isn’t. It’s very nice, and a good song, but it doesn’t have that extra, raw edge that I’ve come to expect from Miranda.

    So, for that reason, for all I like the song, it’s a bit of a let-down.

  18. I think maybe if you had lived through what I and some of these other folks have you might have a different appreciation of the song.

    I knew that was coming, though I attempted to ward it off. For me, personal experience can enhance my appreciation of a song that is already good on its own merits, but it doesn’t elevate a song that is of poor quality.

    And by the way, I actually did lose a family member in death fairly recently, but I find this song too lazily constructed and clogged up with cliches to connect with me on any level at all.

  19. …the absence of enough punch in the chorus, when you’d expect it, makes this slightly awkward piece of music at least not totally forgettable. anybody can shout out his pain, but doing it in this restrained way adds weight to the despair that arguably influenced the writing of this song. besides that, i think it’s well sung.

    trying to come to terms with a big loss has been done better before, but this is by far not the worst effort i could think of. a decent album cut, but a slightly tricky radio-single and yeah – it’s a little boring.

  20. I hate to say it, because I too am a big Miranda fan and I think Four the Record is better than Revolution in many ways, but I would not have chosen this as a new single. Dear Diamond, Fine Tune, Nobody’s Fool, even Fastest Girl in Town, but not this one. This one serves its purpose for the songwriters themselves, and as a songwriter, I understand that, but you don’t automatically put those kinds of songs on an album, let alone release them as a single. Eh, she can’t win ’em all I suppose.

  21. ^I’m a little confused as to why “these type of songs” shouldn’t be released as singles? Shania Twain and Mutt Lange wrote songs that they felt were good, so should they not have released any of those songs as singles?

  22. What I mean by “shouldn’t” is, in my opinion, as in Mr. Foster’s, it’s not as good a song as some of the rest. That’s all, really. Just a matter of taste. And it’s also my opinion that Blake and Miranda realize that, but I guess I’m wrong. I just would hate to think that a single is chosen for the same reason that, as Mr. Foster stated, people sloppily defend its merits: its sentimental value.

  23. Late to the conversation here, but regarding this:

    I think maybe if you had lived through what I and some of these other folks have you might have a different appreciation of the song.

    This is absolutely true. Suffering a significant loss forever changes the way you hear songs that express grief.

    But I always go back to Roger Ebert’s comment about films: It’s not what it’s about, but how it is about it.

    A really great song about grief could make me feel the pain even I you hadn’t lived through it yourself. Now that I’ve lived it, the experience is more intense.

    With a not so great song, it has to be remarkably specific to my own experience for it to have a big impact on me.

    “Over You” is a not so great song to my ears, and the details aren’t relevant enough for it to do it for me, even if the feeling that’s being expressed is one that I can relate to.

  24. I liked the song some initially but it didn’t really grab the first time. It meant more to me after my daughter covered it for YouTube. (if I’m allowed to share a link) She did a very emotional performance and it made the song stick with me:

  25. On a somewhat related note, word has it Blake Shelton’s father has passed away yesterday in Oklahoma.

    Our condolences go out to Mr. Shelton, his family and loved ones on this day.

  26. At least this single’s title bears truth in advertising! As in “I’m already so over you, despite the fact you’ve only just now debuted in the Top Forty!” ;)

  27. I think this song is really great!! I strongly disagree, this song always gets repeated, and it makes me cry every time. I think she and Blake did a wonderful job with this song. I figured the meaning somewhat out the second time listening. I put this up there with House that built me. I strongly disagree with this bad opinion.

  28. I completely disagree. This is a tremendous song with a lot of meaning. I just recently lost a loved one and can relate completely to this song. I always catch myself singing this song and find it comforting.

  29. When I first heard this song it was spooky. I felt like somebody wrote about my life. Every word rang true. This review totslly misses the point. The feelings in the song hit home to me. The emotions you go through are all in the song. The shock…the anger to be alone…the never forgetting…the empty house…the stuff left behind that wasn’t yours…and finally…seeing the stone with the name and date. I can’t get this song out of my head. Isn’t that what music is all about?

  30. I disagree!! This song stuck with me the first time I heard it. This relates to so much in each of our lives. From the loss of a loved one to the loss of a friend, either by death or just taking separate paths this song hits each of us in the heart. The truth is, we never get over our loved ones when they leave. We pick ourselves up and move on but we don’t get over them. There is more to a song than the words itself. It’s how much passion is in the words, how much meaning there is behind the words, and how much it captures the hearts of listeners. It is a beautiful song. Great job Miranda and Blake! You are wonderful musicians!

  31. This song really hits home for me. As a military spouse, it doesn’t touch the nerve that a death in the family would, but it still speaks to me because it covers the resentment I feel toward my husband when he leaves. I am beyond proud of him and I know it’s not his fault and there is nothing he can do about it. When he is gone the kids and I miss him so much it hurts, but on those days where I am playing mommy & daddy and working my full time job, I find myself overwhelmed and angry but sad at the same time. This song describes that feeling perfectly. Thanks, Miranda.

  32. I can’t help feeling whenever I hear this song that this would be Bella’s theme song from the Twilight Saga. Just the “but you went away; how dare you” and “I’ll never get over you” ideas match with Bella’s attitude when Edward distanced himself from her. I know that this song has a totally different meaning behind it, but it doesn’t show and the song almost comes off as sounding really immature.

  33. Is the review meant to be satire? Or Is it just fishing for lemmings, tossing out insanity just to see how many minions will drool out sloven responses of approval? Seriously.. Really?

    The first time I heard this song I remember I was sitting at a traffic light waiting for it to turn, listening to Miranda softly singing these words, “But you went away.  How dare you?  I miss you.  They say I’ll be okay, but I’ll never get over you.”

    I broke out in a cold sweat hearing this and thinking of someone I lost very close to me over twenty years ago. Hearing her sing these words were like a dagger to the heart. I haven’t thought of her in awhile, I mean really thought about her. But sitting there listening to this song I could hear voice so clear in my mind, I could remember looking in her eyes.

    Maybe you have to live through it to understand it, or maybe you’ve never really been in love, or maybe you just have a thumping gizzard for a heart Mr. D+ poorly written. Complete insanity!

  34. Doug, I can assure that the review is not satirical. It is perfectly serious, and fully thought out, and I’m sure the same goes for the reader comments. I understand what the song is about; I just feel that the song deals with its subject matter poorly.

    If the song connects with you, I can understand that. As you can see, it did not connect with me the same way, and the review explains why. People react to art in different ways. There’s no need to respond to such differences by belittling or disrespecting those with differing viewpoints.

  35. Ben, I do apologize for my poor choice in words. In no way do I wish to belittle neither you nor anyone else for expressing an opinion. Honestly, my words were typed out mostly in-shock after reading your review. I can’t begin to express how far I feel the review misses the true value of this song.

    I spent some time thinking about Miranda’s song today, trying to come up with anything I’ve read, or any song I’ve ever heard, which spoke to my loss and touched me so deeply. This journey of a song through her perfectly chosen words and her beautifully delivered soft voice. This gift.

    Nothing compares.

  36. I would imagine the song means a lot to her, Blake and his family. As someone who has lost someone close myself, it means a lot to me. Writing a song that people can relate to; that is successful song writing.

  37. I will start by saying that your review was very well written. Today, though, I’m not able to look past the correlations to my life. The last time I saw my mom was Christmas (the presents, the tree, you and me), she pasted a year ago today on her 60th birthday (Mid-February shouldn’t be so scary), she would always worked around the house singing along to Waylon and Loretta records on the stereo (Cuz you sing along to every song). For me, today, what you call cliche and awkward clutch my heart.

  38. I think a lot of times a cliche can bring solace or touch someone closely. And I don’t think cliches are necessarily bad in country lyrics. The way I see it country music songs have to get the radio listener to be able to remember the lyrics and sing along, even if the radio listener isn’t listening all that closely. So a cliche can work in a song’s favor. I think country music is about entertaining the listener enough to keep them from punching the radio dial, and its not about art or expression or innovation. Or if its about those things, they are secondary concerns. To me you can have a song thats cliched and still have decent background music, or “soundtrack to life” type stuff. I don’t know — critics always point out that a song is cliched or whatnot, but it seems that in terms of commercial success that is a good thing not a bad thing.

  39. First of all, I love most of Miranda’s song. Initially, I liked Over You, based on the meaning. But after I heard it awhile, I didn’t think it was so great. I still like certain parts, though, such as the chorus. Everyone seems to hate the chorus, but I think it’s the best part. It’s how I feel about some people that have been in my life, and it really touches my heart. I do like that she and her husband wrote it together. But I have to agree that it’s not her best.

  40. I disagree! If you have ever lost someone close to you than this song makes perfect sense and it doesn’t matter if theres cliches or what not. I love this song because it was written and sung by Miranda, but I also love it because the lyrics are true.

  41. I believe that if you truly appreciate and are a fan of an artist that you won’t put down their music. They spend their energy putting in time to write beautiful songs for us fans out there.

    I would say that you aren’t truly a fan of Miranda if this song doesn’t even hit you in the slightest. I’ve never really lost anyone close to me, but just listening to this song makes me realize how I’d feel if something like that were to ever happen.

  42. I completely disagree. This song is haunting and powerful. Even if you don’t know the true origin of the song, you get chills as Miranda’s voice unleashes pain that one can only sympathize with as human being that has dealt with any kind of loss.

  43. I couldn’t disagree with the reviewer more on this one. When one is pouring out their heart in face of such overwhelming grief I don’t think rhyme schemes matter as much as feelings.

    I may not know songwriting but as a country radio broadcaster for over 30 years and know what pushes my listeners buttons and this song does that all day long. The phones continue to light up every time we play it with folks wanting to know who’s that… where do I get it… or to relate their own stories.

  44. I think it’s a great song! A little bit of mystery within, only attracts the imagination of the listener. Is not the writers fault one is too ignorant to listen.

  45. I lost my brother at the age of 20. He was only 17 years old. I know that pain and I know how long (forever) it stays with you. It has been over 30 years ago. I am pretty sure that song was not written for any other purpose but as an outlet for Blake and the pain of losing his brother and as a tribute to his brother. Kind of a “hey, I think of you often” and “I sure wish you could be here to meet my new wife”…I also am pretty sure he could care less about your STUPID review. Get a life!!!

  46. I came across this website and read your review, i was a little suprised to hear that you thought it was boring. i agree a little that it sounds like a break up song, i looked this song up because when i heard it on the radio i thought of my brother who passed away a month ago tomorrow. when i heard the phrase “It really sinks in, you know, when I see it in stone” when i heard this the whole song clicked about the meaning. its leaves you thinking until one thing ties it all together. the song is beautiful and beautifully sung. :)

  47. Ben,

    Like others who have left comments in this thread have pointed out, I really respect your opinion on this song. You don’t find too many people out there willing to be honest about something when it’s quite possible that nobody will agree with them… and I am one of those people who will have to disagree with you on this.

    I have always been a fan of this song, even before I found out the personal ties that Blake had with it. The song IS beautifully written. The melody and the lyrics are a complete perfect match for each other. The slow melody and minimal instruments featured on this track really make the listener feel like he/she is living this moment in their own lives. The flow of the song makes me think of someone who thinks that they want to move on from a situation, but in reality he/she can never move on. The situation has had such an impact on the person that he/she will carry it with them wherever they go, and will be grateful for the memory.

    The lyrics may not mean much to us, but they surely have a meaning to Blake, and possibly even Miranda. I agree that a song has a different meaning for everyone, and sometimes it can have various meanings throughout the different seasons of a persons life. Maybe this song didn’t mean much to you the first time you heard it, Ben, but I am really interested to find out what effect it has on you nearly a year down the road.

  48. Well I really love this song! The very first time I heard “Over You” on the radio I had tears in my eyes because I can relate to everything that she was saying. I lost my dad in January 2009 and he was the best dad that a girl can have. So I really have to disagree with your review and I’m sure that I am not the only one. Especially after November 1,2012 CMA, Maranda Lambert’s “Over You” won (Song of The Year) Award. After all this time, do u still feel the same about the song? I’m just curious about if u happen to have a change of heart since so many people don’t agree and feel that this is the worst review,along with many other people, that I ever read!

  49. You know, guys, I do watch the CMA Awards, and don’t necessarily need to be reminded who won what award. But the thing is I don’t let the awards industries, country radio, or anyone else tell me what to like, or what I should consider great art. I like to do a little thinking of my own when it comes to that.

    When I first heard “Over You” – before there were any chart stats or award wins to sway me – I heard cliche-ridden lyrics, juvenile rhyme schemes, and a blank chorus with a soulless melody. (“You went away/ How dare you/ I miss you” – Seriously?) Basically, a song that I felt should be beneath an artist of Lambert’s caliber.

    I’m afraid that no matter how many awards are handed to her and Shelton for this song, that’s all I’m ever going to hear.

  50. I’ve noticed a lot of comments on here attacking the reviewer for having his own opinion. Have you all forgotten that it’s his job to say honestly what he thinks about a song? If you connect with this song and really enjoy it, I’m sincerely happy for you. However, lashing out at Ben for disliking it is, frankly, childish. Can we all act like adults, please?

  51. Oh please, an awful song, regardless of accolades it gets, is still an awful song. A CMA Award will not do anything to vindicate its awfulness.

    For the record, I agree with Ben.

    PS: I don’t mean to sound cold but we can criticize this song from an objective point of view. We can attack his opinions by stating rebuttals but not to the reviewer himself! Ad hominem much?

  52. It seems like the people who like the song have lost a loved one, and they will pretty much like anyone song that is written about the loss of a loved one. I don’t think that makes a song good, because it means you are just letting your own situation dictate your feelings.

  53. Seems this article has been dug up for gloating purposes of the people who resented this review. People, a review is an opinion of the critic. If you really think the song is a gem, why be so affected by a critic’s opinion of it? And the song winning an award does not mean that Ben’s opinion about it is nullified.

  54. I truly don’t understand the negative reviews. If you have truly experienced personal loss you would truly understand and appreciate this song. I lost having a growing relationship with my oldest son due to spinal meningitis. The song truly touched me. If you truly listen to the words you can truly feel how he never wanted to lose the connection he had with his brother. I am 52 years old and no song in my life has touched me the way this song has. Great work Blake and Miranda.

  55. If you have truly experienced personal loss you would truly understand and appreciate this song.

    I wrote this review one month after my grandfather passed away. I think it’s a pretty sweeping assumption to claim that everyone who’s suffered loss will appreciate the way this particular song deals with its subject matter.

  56. Wow, I think your review is a little harsh. Have you ever lost someone close to you? I have many times and this song touches me every single time i hear it, no matter how simple the lyrics are. It’s beautiful!!

  57. I agree with Ben. Seriously, how can a song win when it contains lyrics like February and scary rhyming together? The answer is that Miranda and Blake are the new golden couple and Nashville loves Midas’ touch.

    Cliches can be used efficiently but hear they are using in a elementary manner.

  58. Regarding original review and any negative comments about this song:
    Did it EVER occur to anyone who bothered to listen to this song at all, that Blake and Miranda did not write or sing this song to please their fans,or win awards? So if you do not like it, it’s ok. I’m sure neither of them care if you do or not.

  59. Perhaps if this had remained an album cut, an unsentimental discussion of its quality would have seemed unwarranted. Releasing it as a single (with relentless airplay) opened the song up to scrutiny by a different standard than sympathy for the couple. Internalizing their pain because of one’s own is about as subjective a response as is possible, but it’s not a basis for assessing its essential merit. Because Ben didn’t react that way, you’d think he committed sacrilege. It’s entirely appropriate to state the weaknesses of “Over You” as to whether it was a great song, because it was given a high profile as a single. That does alter the “playing field.”

  60. My relationship to this song is complicated. I love it and at the same time it shames me. It does not bring me comfort, it expresses a juvenile resentment of the loved ones I have lost, especially my mother. I feel abandoned by her, although I know she would still be with me if she could.

    Did you notice how the “awkward, juvenile rhyme schemes” were at the start of the song and the “one bit in the song that carries much poignancy” is further along? My guess would be that Blake had a poem he wrote, or early version of the song that influenced what was released. This kind of pain is something people roll around in their heads for years and the old, fresh expressions of pain stick with you, even as you may try to push yourself to a more mature outlook.

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