NPR logo Perky and Menacing, Packing 'Gunpowder and Lead'

Perky and Menacing, Packing 'Gunpowder and Lead'

Gunpowder & Lead

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Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Gunpowder and Lead"
  • Artist: Miranda Lambert
  • CD: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Genre: Country

Singer Miranda Lambert is country music's latest Great Blonde Hope. hide caption

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At 23, Miranda Lambert is country music's latest Great Blonde Hope, a refugee from the American Idol-esque TV series Nashville Star whose album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has become a crossover hit. Lambert possesses outsized talent and a personality that seems at once bubbly and menacing, like Kristin Chenoweth if she were packing heat. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is appealingly nervy and dark — never more so than on its crackling opener, "Gunpowder and Lead," which outlines the tale of a woman lying in wait for her abusive boyfriend, shotgun in hand.

The latest in a line of new-school country revenge anthems, "Gunpowder and Lead" ranks somewhere between Carrie Underwood's tire-slashing tour de force "Before He Cheats" and the Dixie Chicks' cheerily murderous "Goodbye Earl." Like those tracks, it's perky and demented ("I'm gonna show him what a little girl's made of / Gunpowder and lead"), charming and creepy. It starts with a car on a highway, ends with a shotgun blast and unfolds like a woman-in-jeopardy Lifetime TV movie, a '50s pulp novel and a Quentin Tarantino film all rolled into one.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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