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  • Rachel Burchfield

The Chicago Tribune said Miranda Lambert is ‘the greatest country music artist ever’ – and I agree


If you know me, you know that I am a diehard fan of Miranda Lambert. She first became famous in the mid-2000s, around 2005 or so, after she appeared on Nashville Star (which I never watched) and after songs from her first album like “Kerosene” and “Me and Charlie Talking” first took off. I’m trying to pinpoint when she got really, really famous and I’m not sure when that is. Maybe after she married Blake? 2011? Actually, probably after “The House That Built Me” took off. 2010.

So I can officially say that I loved Miranda before everyone loved Miranda. No, I wasn’t there for the Nashville Star days, but when I moved to the South in August 2009 and started really listening to country music for the first time (I know that sounds so stereotypical, but it’s the truth), Miranda stood out to me. I fell head over heels in love with this guy from the outskirts of Birmingham, and he used to burn me country CDs back when people still did that (do people still do that?) – Garth Brooks and Miranda were his favorites. He was crazy about her. This is the first guy I ever seriously talked about a future with, and I remember him playing me “Makin’ Plans” by Miranda and being so, so in love with him in that moment. It’s pretty incredible the emotions a song can bring out of you.

And then, when he left me after almost two years for his ex-girlfriend that he’s now married to, I listened to “More Like Her” approximately 75 billion times to get over him.

Anyway, he’s long gone, but the greatest thing he gave me in our relationship was Miranda and her Revolution record, which remains my favorite album of all time, ever. Since then, I’ve been a diehard Ran Fan (the Grateful Dead has Deadheads, Justin Bieber has Beliebers, and Miranda Lambert has Ran Fans) and I’ve even seen her in concert seven times in nine years (the goal is 100 shows before I die) – including twice in one week in 2012. Go me.

Today I saw the headline The greatest country music artist ever…is not a dude in the Chicago Tribune, and it’s a love letter to Miranda, who I have thought was the greatest country music artist ever since 2009 – I’m just happy to see so many others agree with me. From the writer, Steve Chapman: “But I’m happy to stand on the hood of George Strait’s pickup truck or stalk the streets of Dollywood and declare the incontrovertible truth: Miranda Lambert is the greatest country music artist of all time.” Yep. Dude’s right. And – a rarity in country music today – she even writes her own songs!

Here’s a guide to her songs – what to listen to when, by mood – and I think you’ll soon see why Chapman and so many others agree with me. Even as famous as she is now, Miranda is still vastly underrated, and if all you’ve heard from her is her radio hits – my oh my, you’re really missing the best of her. So grab a glass of wine or whatever your drink of choice is and take a listen. You won’t soon regret it.

Each list is in order of best to least best (in my humble opinion). I’ll even add in the Pistol Annies songs – the supergroup Miranda is in – because this is so much fun.

*= Pistol Annies record

Brave and Strong and Badass Women

“Heart Like Mine,” 2009

“Only Prettier,” 2009

“Fastest Girl in Town,” 2011

“Virginia Bluebell,” 2009

“Keeper of the Flame,” 2016

“We Should Be Friends,” 2016

“To Learn Her,” 2016

“Girls Like Us,” 2013*

“Platinum,” 2014

“Mama I’m Alright,” 2005

“Girls,” 2014

“Pink Sunglasses,” 2016

“Tomboy,” 2016

“Priscilla,” 2014

“All Kinds of Kinds,” 2011

“Milkman,” 2018*

“Cheyenne,” 2018*

“Bathroom Sink,” 2014

“Gravity Is a Bitch,” 2014

Excitement of Love/When Love Feels So Good

“Oklahoma Sky,” 2011

“Makin’ Plans,” 2009

“Love Song,” 2009

“I Hope You’re the End of My Story,” 2013*

“Holding On To You,” 2014

“Pushin’ Time,” 2016

“Getaway Driver,” 2016

“Easy Living,” 2011

“Me and Charlie Talking,” 2005

“Safe,” 2011

“Loved By a Workin’ Man,” 2013*

Getting Over a Man

“Getting Ready,” 2007

“Baggage Claim,” 2011

“Dear Old Sun,” 2016

“All That’s Left,” 2014

“Love Your Memory,” 2005

“Desperation,” 2007

“Love Letters,” 2007

“Well-Rested,” 2016

“Six Degrees of Separation,” 2016

“I Can’t Be Bothered,” 2005

“Easy From Now On,” 2007

“When I Was His Wife,” 2018*

“Don’t Talk About Him, Tina,” 2013*

“Blues, You’re a Buzzkill,” 2013*

“Leavers Lullaby,” 2018*

“Hard Staying Sober,” 2014

“Two Rings Shy,” 2014

“Better in the Long Run,” 2011

Heartbroken (and Wallowing in It)

“Tin Man,” 2016

“More Like Her,” 2007

“Masterpiece,” 2018*

“Over You,” 2011

“Things That Break,” 2016

“Use My Heart,” 2016

“Greyhound Bound for Nowhere,” 2005

“Bring Me Down,” 2005

“Trading One Heartbreak for Another,” 2013*

Hopeful About Life and Love

“Airstream Song,” 2009

“Covered Wagon,” 2016

“Highway Vagabond,” 2016

“Boys from the South,” 2011*

“Damn Thing,” 2013*

“Got My Name Changed Back,” 2018*

“Interstate Gospel,” 2018*

“This Too Shall Pass,” 2018*

“Lemon Drop,” 2011*

“Love Is Looking For You,” 2005

“New Strings,” 2005

“I’ve Got Wheels,” 2016

“You Wouldn’t Know Me,” 2016

“For the Birds,” 2016

“Good Ol’ Days,” 2016

Pissed As Hell and Want to Rage

“Sin for a Sin,” 2009

“Mama’s Broken Heart,” 2011

“Gunpowder and Lead,” 2007

“Kerosene,” 2005

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” 2007

Snapshots of (Southern) Life

“Time To Get a Gun,” 2009

“The House That Built Me,” 2009

“Famous in a Small Town,” 2007

“Best Years of My Life,” 2018*

“The Hunter’s Wife,” 2011*

“Housewife’s Prayer,” 2011*

“Trailer for Rent,” 2011*

“Family Feud,” 2011*

“That’s the Way That the World Goes ‘Round,” 2009

“Hush Hush,” 2013*

“Being Pretty Ain’t Pretty,” 2013*

“Unhappily Married,” 2013*

“Beige,” 2011*

“Old Shit,” 2014

“Automatic,” 2014

“Smokin’ and Drinkin’,” 2014

“Another Sunday in the South,” 2014

“Commissary,” 2018*

“5 Acres of Turnips,” 2018*

“Babies Makin’ Babies,” 2014

When Bad Feels So Damn Good

“I Feel a Sin Comin’ On,” 2013*

“Hell on Heels,” 2011*

“Smoking Jacket,” 2016

“Somethin’ Bad,” 2014

“Down,” 2007

“Bad Example,” 2011*

“Takin’ Pills,” 2011*

“Sugar Daddy,” 2018*

“Bad Boy,” 2016

“Runnin’ Just in Case,” 2016

“Look at Miss Ohio,” 2011

“Vice,” 2016

“Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go,” 2009

“Dear Sobriety,” 2013*

“Ugly Lights,” 2016

“Fine Tune,” 2011

“Guilty in Here,” 2007

“I Wanna Die,” 2005

“Dear Diamond,” 2011

When You Don’t Understand Men (Usually Because They Are Assholes)

“Maintain the Pain,” 2009

“Me and Your Cigarettes,” 2009

“White Liar,” 2009

“There’s a Wall,” 2005

“Same Old You,” 2011

“Nobody’s Fool,” 2011

“Dead Flowers,” 2009

“What About Georgia,” 2005

When You Just Want to Get Drunk and Have Some Fun, Dammit

“Dry Town,” 2007

“Stop Drop and Roll One,” 2018*

“Little Red Wagon,” 2014

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