I want Taylor Swift to write a song about Miranda Lambert: “Why ya gotta be so loud?”
Everything about “Fastest Girl in Town” is a disaster. It's one of those rare songs that manages to try too hard and be too lazy at the same time.
The production and the “look at me, I'm so tough and wild” vocal? They try too hard. Thrashing guitar solos that never go anywhere, grit and growl that don't match the off-the-Wal-Mart-rack lyrics. She's trying to top the energy of “Gunpowder & Lead” and “Kerosene”, but the underlying tension that made those records work is nowhere to be found here.
That's because of the lazy songwriting, which is no longer the exception when it comes to Miranda Lambert. It's the rule. This fastest girl in town is a mere caricature of the rough-edged down-home image that Lambert's managed to box herself in with. Even Gretchen Wilson wouldn't have tried to get one over on us with lines like “You’ve got the bullets, I’ve got the gun. I’ve got a hankering for getting into something”, and she built an entire song around a Skoal ring.
Lambert showed such promise in her early work, which peaked creatively with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, an album that still sounds fresh and vital today. I stand by my assertion that “The House that Built Me” was a beautiful distraction from the fact that her music went seriously downhill on Revolution. And this, like most of her latest album, is just a mess.
I am tired of the mediocrity, country music, but I'm even more tired with mediocrity being celebrated and elevated with unwarranted praise. Can we please stop telling our artists that their not nearly good enough is better than the best? Maybe they might, you know, work a little bit harder for that slot on radio and that CMA trophy if they actually had to earn it.
Written by Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley
Listen: Fastest Girl in Town
I completely agree with this review, I fear that Miranda is in danger of becoming a parody of herself with some of these songs. Miranda has the potential to be one of the greats of country music, but at the moment it’s only potential. She is not going to challenge herself to get any better when critics and the country music industry continue to hail her as the second coming for mediocre material.
You have Zero right to go off and trash people like this, get off your butt and trying to make a living without freakin getting off your butt, I know you have an opinion but that doesn’t mean you have to share it with the whole world GET A LIFE
K thanks :),
Blake and Ran lover!!
Oh how I wish “Mama’s Broken Heart” had been the single instead. At least that song is clever.
The material is a bit lackluster on Four The Record, but there are some quality songs, namely “Dear Diamond” and “Look At Miss Ohio.”
But as much as I hate to agree (huge Miranda fan here), this song is a mess and says aboulutely nothing. But I do like the production. At least this doesn’t try and sound like anything else on the radio.
You know it’s too bad you haven’t hit the superstar status,maybe then what you have to say would matter. I see she is the ACM female singer of the year, so I guess she’ll be laughing at you all the way to the bank. Never ceases to amaze me how hacks like you like to trash singers you have an issue with. Usually the singers the critics don’t like are usually the ones the fans like the best. nice try though, some day you might even be a fair writer, but I could be wrong.
You may not like that song, but I do and fans seem to outnumber critics. Miranda has come into her own as a performer and the awards were earned. So, your criticism was harsh and uncalled for.
I’m not a fan of this song, so I agree with this review in general, but I think there are some good songs on the album and I really liked most of the Revolution album quite a bit.
Can’t really disagree with the review. I like Miranda, but she is going to have to give us something better than this. Looks more and more like she is falling more in line with the quality of songs that her husband has put out lately.
Ok to start off her career isn’t going downhill since ex girlfriend album its actually going uphill , this song is amazing !! I know a lot of people that are really disappointed about what you wrote , I’m too I think you should get onto her shoes and see all the pressure she has so please stop posting negative articles about Miranda and any other artist #Ranfan
I’ve heard it speculated that Lambert was saving her best material for the Pistol Annies records. And while I have only heard one song from her latest — “Baggage Claim” — I can certainly believe it, if that song’s any indication. (I have pretty much abandoned mainstream country music over the last few years.)
And what’s up with these so called Ran Fans? They sound like fans of Faith Hill & Tim McGraw did 10 years ago.
This article is all wrong! I think that Miranda’s music has improved and she has evolved as an artist through out her music career! All of her albums are awesome and her voice is amazing! I can’t wait to see Fastest Girl in Town go #1 which it will :)
Gee, I went back on some of your articles, and retro song picks, and gee again, most didn’t even write their songs, so if you’re going to criticize someones song writing ability, lets trash the ones that don’t even write their songs, their the lazy good for nothing performers. I’d rather listen to someone who writes their songs than someone who puts filler songs on their cd’s. Believe me I don’t spend money on a cd until I check to see if they write the majority of the songs. The ones that don’t write the songs aren’t worth buying, NO SKIN IN THE GAME, sound familiar?
I agree with danielle she has evolved and us Ran fans Love her music & yes fastest girl in town is going to be #1 in the charts and she has so much pressure , she also has to have time for the pistol annies , I think she’s an Amazing artist & Person so stop trash talking about others !!
Miranda is one of two singers to get ACM’s album of the year 3 years in a row. I guess you missed that. If you don’t like Revolution and Fore The Record, I guess you missed the boat, the rest of us are enjoying the ride, So Sorry.
trash the ones that don’t even write their songs, their the lazy good for nothing performers
No, sweetie, it’s called “knowing your limitations as an artist.” Learn the difference. After, of course, you learn the difference between their and they’re Baby steps and all that.
Really Miranda’s last good album was Crazy-Ex? Revolution was universally adored. Miranda won album of the year for Revolution and Four the Record. Fastest Girl is a fun song. Every guy singer can sing about drinking, trucks and how country they are- but no, no Miranda can’t have a rocking track out. Get a grip Dude. Love Miranda and like the song.
Seriously, who even reads this nobody’s reviews?? I’ve never heard of him, and there’s obviously a reason. Fastest Girl in Town’s a great song, just like pretty much everything Miranda puts out. Shove it, dude!!
trash the ones that don’t even write their songs, their the lazy good for nothing performers
No, sweetie, it’s called “knowing your limitations as an artist.” Learn the difference. After, of course, you learn the difference between their and they’re. Baby steps and all that.
To the one that tried to write the above article, you get a big fat “F” for the writing. You are dumb as hell. Miranda has never had a bad song.
Why don’t you go get a real job??????????
Yea the pistolero, just keep posting the same thing over and over, maybe you’ll make yourself feel important. You just keep listening to Red Solo Cup, It’s about all you can get your hands around.
Although “F” is harsh, I certainly can’t get into this song. I’ve heard it on radio and its not catchy and the whole bad-ass/outlaw/whatever bit is stale. Its a gimmick, good for a few songs, but its gotten old. The Gretchen Wilson comparison is really apt — “Redneck Woman” was awesome, and the next few songs (“Redneck Woman,Part 2, 3, and 4) were enjoyable enough. But at some point enough is enough for me. I did enjoy “White Liar,” but that’s the last Miranda song I’ve really liked.
Fastest girl in town is one of my favorite songs on Miranda’s new cd. I am no music critic expert, but me and all my female friends that listen to it feel like it gives women a sense of empowerment and bad a** country vibe. Her lyrics are clever and the tune is so Miranda. I love it.
Anna, That’s the key, you have to buy the CD. If you take the time to listen to it, the whole CD is great, but you have to buy it and listen to it. I can’t count the CD’s I’ve bought and two or three songs were good, but I couldn’t stand to listen to the rest of them. Filler songs, just to have enough to make the album. Miranda doesn’t put fillers on her albums, and it shows, I enjoy all the songs on the albums. Sunny Sweeney is another singer that puts out an album with all great songs on it.
At what point do comments become too tacky and rude to be allowed to remain on the site? I would think that personally attacking the reviewer and other commenters would reach that level. People need to learn the difference between attacking ideas and attacking people. If you disagree with the review, that’s one thing. But attacking Kevin personally because he posted his honest critical opinion is inappropriate and inexcusable. And isn’t that why you come to a reviewer’s website in the first place? To read their take on the song? This should be a place for polite discussion about the song, not rude discussion about the reviewer.
Moving on, I pretty much agree with Kevin’s review. I do think that Four the Record has some quality songs, but I think this song was completely wrong for a single. I had been hoping for “Dear Diamond” or, if she wanted to go more uptempo, maybe “Nobody’s Fool” or “All Kinds of Kinds.” It just seems like whoever’s picking the singles for this album wants the album to look bad.
Also, just curious, but does anyone think that they’ll release “Better in the Long Run”? It’s an okay song, and I figured it would energize the “Ran Fans,” since Blake is on it too.
Keith, I like the songs you mentioned, but the one I wish they had made a single is Safe, I can’t listen to the CD without replaying that song a few times before going on to the next song. Oh well maybe the next single.
I definitely count myself as a Miranda fan, but I think there’s a HUGE distinction between being a fan of somebody and thinking they can do no wrong. Miranda has made some great songs, but I agree with a lot of what is written in this review. I’m not a fan of Four The Record. And yes, I did buy the CD and have listened to all the tracks multiple times. The Fastest Girl in Town is definitely one of the weaker songs. I think the “F” review might be somewhat harsh, considering many other weak country songs that have pulled off better grades on this site. But that’s probably inevitable with different reviewers. I do think this deserves a weak grade though (among other things, I shudder at songs that rhyme “whiskey” and frisky” – I’m looking at you too, Luke Bryan). With that said, I do believe Miranda has a lot of talent and I’m hopeful that she will come out with better material in the future. That might come when she is less in the spotlight as one of country’s “it” girls though. I think this song is a response to the success she’s had with the “bad girl” image. Unfortunately, I think that sustaining that image no matter what has costed her somewhat artistically. That image is stretched way too far at this point.
Also, a tip to other Miranda fans, please don’t bash the writers of reviews for having a different opinion. If you disagree, totally fine. But some of the remarks in the comment section are completely and totally uncalled for, and it saddens me that fellow Miranda and country music fans would say such things. I’m embarrassed by the quality of this discussion.
Thank you, BrettAshley. Also as a fellow Miranda Lambert fan and even champion, I agree. I think it’s perfectly valid to disagree, but the way in which it’s being done here is unfortunate.
Brett Some of us feel strongly about our favorite singers, sometimes a little too strongly. I could be a critic and would get the same reaction from fans. As far as I’m concerned Garth Brooks was the worst singer in Country History, he caused me to flee from Country music back in the 90’s. The person who brought me back, just last March was Miranda Lambert, at that time I had no idea even who she was, but her songs and voice brought me back to country music after that many years. So to each his own, I just don’t choose to profess to know everything about what makes a good singer or song, it’s only my opinion. The music awards tell the tail when it comes to who is most popular in the music industry, for me it sure wasn’t Garth Brooks, but he too had plenty of fans, and they too would disagree with me,even rudely, which wouldn’t bother me, because it’s my opinion.
This is not my favorite song either, but I wouldn’t give it an F considering what’s out there. Considering what Miranda is capable of, maybe it’s fair though.
Sometimes I don’t feel like I “get” her albums. I enjoy a lot of the songs individually. But especially listening to Four The Record I found myself feeling kinda lost. Like I was supposed to be appreciating how good it was, yet I couldn’t really find what it was that I liked about it. I applaud her so much though for not being a cookie cutter act and doing what she wants, even if it’s not always a universal hit. She’s clearly made more good decisions than poor ones.
I will also say that I will give her a permanent free pass (maybe unfairly) as long as she keeps cranking out excellent country music with the Pistol Annies.
And lol at the obsessive, defensive fans. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying every song an artist makes. But someone disagreeing is nothing to get up in arms about. Think about it. Say you really like pizza from this one restaurant; it’s your favorite food. And you meet someone who says that they don’t really care for that particular pizza and feel that it’s recipe has become a bit played out and lacks the interesting, bold flavors it once had. Is it really worth reaming them out over their different tastes? Do you think your hostility is going to make them enjoy the pizza anymore?
I’m only going to respond directly to one part of your comment:
“The music awards tell the [tale] when it comes to who is most popular in the music industry.”
Yes, music awards by and large do often reveal who is popular in the industry. In no way should popularity ever be mistaken for quality in music.
As for the rest of your comment…well, like you said, that’s your opinion. I’m glad Miranda’s music has connected with you and I am happy that you have become a country fan again. I think, however, we should all think over our comments to ensure they do not come off as inflammatory and offensive.
Just a little off topic, speaking of opinions, I bought a CD a couple weeks ago, didn’t know who it was, or whether country or what, but it turned out to be almost my favorite. Have you ever heard of Sunny Sweeney? the CD is called Concrete
Yes, Sunny Sweeney is very good. I like Concrete a lot, but I like her first album even more. Have you heard Heartbreakers Hall of Fame?
For me it’s a C rather than an F, just because I find the production very listenable. But I do agree with a lot of the review. Even as someone who enjoyed her last two albums overall, there are only six tracks between them that I think live up to the level of potential Miranda displayed early on. (“Only Prettier,” “Me and Your Cigarettes,” “The House That Built Me,” “That’s the Way that the World Goes ‘Round,” “Fine Tune,” “Mama’s Broken Heart”)
I haven’t been able to find it yet. Need to get to a larger town with a Best Buy, but I have looked for it. You can’t even get Thompson Square here, now that’s sad.
Thanks for taking time to do a longer review and fully explain why you don’t like it! I wish Dear Diamond was the new single.
Still holding out for a “Mama’s Broken Heart” or “All Kinds of Kinds” release. I’m with Dan that this song is more of a “C” than an “F,” but I agree with most of the sentiment in the review. I do enjoy the album, though.
…just like sweet sandy turning into that vamp in tight black jeans and high heels telling john travolta that he is the one that she wants, miranda lambert is letting her hair down a little with this song. it would probably not be the worst addition to that “rednecks & dirt roads” stage musical bonanza soundtrack that will, hopefully, never see the light of day. as if anybody needed trucks hanging from the ceiling or something like that…
when it comes to me, i also prefer it a little more country than that.
Wow. I wake up to find a new review with 36 comments. “Ran” fans are almost as passionate as Carrie’s and Taylor’s. Emily West should have such fans.
I agree with Kevin’s review although I’d probably give it a D. Maybe Ran is so busy being a celebrity that she doesn’t have the time to write quality songs. I liked “Me and Your Cigarettes”, “Famous in a Small Town” and “House That Built Me” but that’s about it.
I would say this review is correct. I might grade this song a little less severely, but for the most part, this song does nothing for me. And I have to say that for all the quality material Miranda has put out in the past, her incessantly loud production has been bugging me to no end lately. Really makes you miss the nineties ladies.
As for all the irate Ran fans… Wow. You might want to class it up a bit, and represent yourselves better than this.
I agree with most of the points on this review, though a I think a grade of F is a tad too harsh. I was hoping for either All Kinds of Kinds or Mama’s Broken Heart as the 3rd single.
Also, Kevin, I find your opinion about “Revolution” interesting, considering that it was during this album cycle that Miranda got her haul of awards and accolades.
F may be a bit harsh, I’d say C-…Truth is, Miranda’s artistry has gone way downhill with this and the prior CD. I see her and Blake Shelton being the purveyors of crappy country like Tim and Faith were at the peak of their commercial powers in the late 90s. McGraw only started to mine some quality material when Faith’s day had come and gone. Sad, ’cause those first two releases were very good.
Also, Kevin, I find your opinion about “Revolution” interesting, considering that it was during this album cycle that Miranda got her haul of awards and accolades.
I think the success of “The House That Built Me” was probably the biggest reason behind all that. If that song hadn’t been released to radio, and become such a massive hit, I wonder if things might have taken a different turn.
Quite the message board for something posted within the last 24 hours.
Overall, I agree with the message of the review. The “F” seems a little harsh but this is definitely a song I have skipped over since very early on when listening to this album. I think a lot of songs on the album are excellent though; just not the ones being released as singles thus far.
Regarding some of the posts in response to this analysis, just realize that if you disagree with what Kevin said, its not a personal slight at you or Miranda. As someone who is championed as the best mixture of critical and commercial success (and I agree), Miranda should be held to a higher standard. People don’t devote this kind of time and thought to artists that do not merit it. The three singles released from this album are not befitting of Miranda’s talent.
The ability to think critically about an artist does not in any way question your support of said artist. In fact, you should think most critically about that which you care about, lest you forget why it matters to you. Taking a step back and saying “Yea, that song was a dud. What do you have next?” will make you appreciate the next good one more.
I agree with this writer. Seems Miranda, the songwriter she is, has taken this tough girl imagine a bit far. Seems it would be hard to protray yourself tough while fans know (hubby)sits with phone in hand tweeting a woman fan 4/5 ways he loves her, her RTs was shared with fans. Without a doubt Miranda will come back with one of her better cuts on “Four The Record”. We are in not way putting her out to PASTURE. There will be more to come.
In fact, you should think most critically about that which you care about, lest you forget why it matters to you.
@Russ: If only there were a way to set up every comment thread on the internet so that typing that sentence, verbatim, were a requirement before posting. Exceptionally well said and every word of it true.
In as much as I don’t like using rating systems of any kind, my only issue with the “F” here is that, for as poor on its own merits (especially the recording) and as disappointing for an artist of Miranda Lambert’s caliber (especially the posturing) as I believe “Fastest Girl in Town” to be, it’s still a sight better than “Over You” was.
Oh, and Presley shouldn’t get off the hook here, either. She’s better than this, too.
Ditto to all of Jonathan’s above remarks, including the one about Presley.
Russ – Very well said indeed.
The ability to think critically about an artist does not in any way question your support of said artist.
Well said. God knows I love me some George Strait — I own all his albums (picked up every one since Blue Clear Sky on its release date), and have seen him 15 times since 1996 — but I won’t deny that he’s recorded some real stinkers in his time, more so in recent years, among them “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls,” “River of Love,” and “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright.” Am I still a fan? You betcha.
Ditto to Vince Gill for me. I’m a Vince super fan (my cat is even named after him), but not all of his songs are gold. …And well said Russ. Well said.
I agree with Russ that the album has a lot of excellent songs, just not the ones that are being released as singles. I don’t know if everyone will agree with me, but I think the problem with the single choices for this album is that not all the great tracks are radio-friendly. Dear Diamond, Oklahoma Sky, to name a couple of songs, are excellent ones, but I don’t know if they’ll work with radio. Though given Miranda’s recent radio successes it could be worth risking.
I am fervently hoping they won’t decide to release Better in the Long Run in a bid to cash in on the Blake/Miranda golden couple popularity. I find that song overwrought, and not a good fit for Miranda’s vocal.
While Kevin’s review here is about as scathing as I’ve ever read anywhere, I have to staunchly agree with him in large measure. After having listened to it six different times, I have to rate this as by far the loudest supposedly “country” song I’ve ever heard in my life. Maybe Miranda is trying to make a point with the near heavy-metal production, but what it is is very hard to tell with a near 90-decibel assault on the ears.wall-to-wall guitars drowning out nearly all the authenticity and twang. And whatever her strengths might be elsewhere, Miranda isn’t Pat Benatar with a Texas drawl, and shouldn’t try to be. But perhaps it is symptomatic of what country music has devolved into: loud 80s arena rock with drawl and twang. And that’s rather sad, as far as I’m concerned.
Incidentally, to those who slam performers who don’t write their own material, I’d remind you all that this constitutes probably more than 50% of all the performers across every single genre of American popular music. Not all the great singers write their own songs, and not all of those who write songs have great, or even merely good, voices.
Good point Eric-North especially the last sentence. People forget that Miranda got all the awards ans accolades due to The House That Built Me and she did not write that song.
When Fastest Girl In Town hits number one and Four The Record wins CMA Album of the Year you’ll eat your words, right? I’ll be glad to provide the knife and fork
Why would anyone eat their words if this song hits Number one and the album wins a CMA award? Its not as if the reviewer said “This song will never become a hit, and the album will never win any awards.”
If Susan Foran thinks that Miranda hitting #1 on the charts vindicates the quality of this song, then what will she say when Miranda is no longer a hit maker and her songs barely scratch the top 40? (Inevitably this fate awaits all country stars, sooner or – hopefully – later). If Susan likes such a hypothetical Miranda song, would she accept that the song sucks on the theory that it failed to become a hit? I doubt it. And if not, she can’t discredit Kevin’s complaints about the song on the theory that it will be a hit without being a hypocrite.
When Fastest Girl In Town hits number one and Four The Record wins CMA Album of the Year you’ll eat your words, right?
Sweetcheeks said it well.
Another point I might add to the discussion is that writing one’s own songs does not in any way place any artist above criticism. I’d rather hear an artist sing great quality material from outside sources than hear an artist sing poor self-written material.
I have only liked one song by Miranda Lambert. “The House that Built Me” That song did wonders for her, why she didn’t go back to those songwriters for more material is beyond me. You would think that she would at least find room for another song written by them on her new Album.
Simple Dave, Miranda’s got the big head right now and thinks she can do no wrong (looks like she can’t in the eyes of her adorers), however, I guess she deserves it after she was put aside during the reign that was TS! That reign (and it’s probably going to start up again) almost turned me completely against radio and music…period. Everything changed to me, IMO, when she came along. Not a huge fan of Mirandas, but do like some of her songs way better than TS.
Can we please try not to turn this into a Miranda-vs-Taylor discussion? Or a Miranda-vs-some other female country singer.
Dave brings up a good point. It’s not that I dislike Miranda’s aggressive side (“Fastest Girl In Town” is actually one of my favorites on the album, but I digress). That being said, I don’t know why she constantly portrays herself that way when “The House That Built Me,” her biggest hit so far, showed her at her most vulnerable. She obviously doesn’t need to keep clinging to the bad-girl image in order to be successful.
Miranda’s beginning to sound like a female version of the New Country Radio stereotype — boozy, armed and defiant. Is she striving the be the XX-chromosomes’ answer to Justin Moore?
TS write a song about Miranda? that is going to be heard for TS considering that the song isn’t going to be about a guy TS dated, dating, or TS herself. Now I haven’t heard fast girl in town but F seriously?
@Alison – Well, if you haven’t heard the song how can you protest the grade convincingly? lol
I’m just tired of the “tough girl” act. Period.