Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Pistol Annies: “Thank God”

Heaven On Heels

The Inky Jukebox has been giving The Pistol Annies’ record Hell on Heels a little while to settle in to her brainium before attempting a review because it’s hard, dammit, to come up with words other than “brilliant” and “stupendous” to describe it.

The Annies — Ashley Monroe, Angaleena Presley and Miranda Lambert — harken back to an earlier time when your country music came in harmonized voices you’d hear over the radio. As such they are geniuses because old school country is picking up speed of late. Try on “Bad Example” for size: while the instrumentation sounds jolly, the lyrics deliver a cutthroat message delightfully at odds with Taylor Swift’s politically correct sweetness.

“Now we ain’t ashamed of who we are
We like fast men and cheap guitars
Ain’t trying to get rich, just trying to get by
Playing for tips on a Saturday night.”

Any one of them can hold their own as lead singers, but it is when they come together that magic happens. At the end of “Lemon Drop” the music falls away while they offer a collective sigh “Thank God” that is so incredibly melodious it embodies that very Lemon Drop.

Miranda Lambert doesn’t need any side projects to aid the fame rocket she’s been riding for a few years, but this can only help her by revealing a collaborative side rich in historic reference.

The Inky Jukebox loves the bad girl attitude on this album: “Takin’ Pills” gives us a twangy electric guitar reminiscent of old Duane Eddy songs, (as does "The Hunter's Wife") while the title track “Hell on Heels” sounds more polished. These gals ain’t afraid of wearing their hearts and more on their sleeve, proclaiming very believably their love for “Boys From The South.”

There is not a single song on this record that is less accomplished than another. "Trailer For Rent" however could be The Inky Jukebox's favorite. 

Perhaps what The Inky Jukebox likes most about the whole band is that they could and would have been successful had they appeared at any time in popular music. That’s what talent is.

Thank goodness that time is now. Go buy this album y’all.

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