An audacious country renegade with a straight-shooting lyrical style, Miranda Lambert is worlds removed from your average cookie-cutter country singer. As she herself puts it, "just down the middle plain" has never been her style. Revolution, her third CD, finds Lambert taking an if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it approach. She's kept the same producers and musicians as last time around, but turns the country twang up a notch. There's an immediacy to Revolution, with its striking guitar hooks and even more striking melodies, that gives the CD a live-in-the-studio feel. Whether she's pining for the gypsy life in the rootsy "Airstream Song" or deconstructing John Prine's "That's the Way the World Goes 'Round," which begins with a country twang and builds to a punkish frenzy, Lambert sounds supremely at ease. She's all over the map mood-wise too: from the wistful nostalgia of "The House That Built Me" to the love-gone-bad (and maybe even deadly) theme of "Sin for a Sin" (co-written with boyfriend Blake Shelton). Easily one of country music's most gifted artists, Lambert is at the top of her game here. — Tierney Smith
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