My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Miranda Lambert – ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’

miranda lambert - mama's broken heart“Mama’s Broken Heart” was written by some of my favorite songwriters currently working in Nashville. Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark have co-written a handful of my personal favorites in the past few years – LeAnn Rimes’ “Crazy Women”, Reba McEntire’s “Cry”, The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” – and the song’s third co-writer Kasey Musgraves is currently on the charts with one of the best country singles in the last ten years. When you figure in the reigning three-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert singing their words, this single is off to a running start with a considerable pedigree. And it almost lives up to all that promise.

Synthetic rhythms and sliding guitar licks frame Lambert as she sings the cheeky verses  - “Word got around to the barflies and the baptists/My mama’s phone started ringin’ off the hook” – that tell of a girl wearing her heartbreak on her sleeve and reacting to it with less than the southern gentility with which she was raised.  It’s off to a good start. But wait for the Wall of Miranda Lambert Sound to blight an otherwise flawless record. The song’s plot is salvaged because the verses are kept to a bare-beat minimum, allowing the quick-on-the-trigger lyric the first draw. Too bad the chorus is beat and whipped until any remnants of what was probably a sweet little melody are long gone.

Production missteps aside, “Mama” will inject a much-needed bit of sinister excitement to country radio’s drab playlists. This is a good thing.

Grade: B

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6 responses to “Single Review: Miranda Lambert – ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’

  1. Ben Foster January 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Love this. The loudness during the chorus doesn’t really bother me, but I can see how it does bring the song down for others. Very fine review, J.R.

  2. Leah January 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Didn’t seem to bother Rolling Stone from saying it was one of the best singles released last year.:)
    I love the single and Miranda. I Also love how she has been promoting Kasey Musgraves for years at all of ger Muttnation events, etc. Go Texas gal power!

  3. Occasional Hope January 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    The production ruins it for me.

  4. Andrew Leprich January 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Not great, but pretty good. I’d give this a B or B+. It’s clearly a notch above the previous single releases from this album.

  5. Jonathan Pappalardo January 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    “Production missteps aside, “Mama” will inject a much-needed bit of sinister excitement to country radio’s drab playlists. This is a good thing.”

    This and Carrie Underwood’s “Two Black Cadillacs.”

    I’m with Ben, the loudness isn’t a problem for me. It’s one time where it actually works, echoing the bitting lyrics.

  6. Paul W Dennis January 5, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I think it’s a great song/great lyric that’s been ruined by the production – as it stands this is a C+ but with more subdued production this would easily have been an elite record

    Maybe someday this will show up in an acoustic version – perhaps in a ‘Miranda – Unplugged’ set

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