Like many contemporary Nashville recordings, Revolution (Columbia), the third album from Lindale fireball Miranda Lambert, is a country record in attitude only. Pedal steels are fleeting, and you’ve heard less electric guitar grunge on a Nirvana CD. The sound is edgy, compressed—and fatiguing. Which is a shame. Talent like Lambert’s deserves more than assembly-line production work. Catty lines like “I’m just like you, only prettier” or elegant ones like “Light us up and then throw us down” (in “Me and Your Cigarettes”) are buried under studio gimmickry. Lambert has changed a bit since her last recording—it takes her thirteen songs to confront a cheating boyfriend—but despite the title, this shift seems more organic than dramatic. She is older (25), with wistful material like “The House That Built Me” and songs that show some real hurt (“Maintain the Pain,” “Dead Flowers”). Though her success has paled next to that of more-
traditional newcomers like Taylor Swift, Lambert is too savvy to compensate by playing up her vulnerabilities. If this is holding her back, it’s also what makes her so refreshing.