Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Studio album by Miranda Lambert
Released May 1, 2007 (2007-05-01)
Recorded 2006-2007
Omni Sound Studios,
Wrucke's House Studio,
East Iris Studios
Genre Country
Length 37:25
Label Columbia Nashville
Producer Frank Liddell, Mike Wrucke
Miranda Lambert chronology
Kerosene
(2005)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
(2007)
Revolution
(2009)
Singles from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  1. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"
    Released: December 26, 2006
  2. "Famous in a Small Town"
    Released: April 2, 2007
  3. "Gunpowder & Lead"
    Released: January 14, 2008
  4. "More Like Her"
    Released: September 1, 2008

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the second studio album by American country artist, Miranda Lambert. The album was released May 1, 2007 on Columbia Nashville Records and was produced by Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was Lambert's first studio album released under the Columbia Nashville label, as 2005's Kerosene was issued on Epic Nashville Records. The album received high critical acclaim, with critics commenting on Lambert's revengeful material. The album went to number one on the United States' Top Country Albums chart and also reached number 6 on the overall American chart. Out of the album's four singles, three were major hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart between 2007 and 2009. "Gunpowder & Lead," the third single released from the album, became her first Top 10 hit on the country chart in 2008. Other singles spawned from the album were, "Famous in a Small Town," and "More Like Her."

In late Spring 2008, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend won the Album of the Year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards.[1]

Background[edit]

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was recorded at three separate studios in Nashville, Tennessee and consisted of eleven tracks. Eight of the album's tracks were entirely written or co-written by Lambert herself.[2] Two additional tracks are cover versions. "Getting Ready" was written by Patty Griffin, and it appears on her 2007 release, Children Running Through. "Easy from Now On" (written by Carlene Carter and Susanna Clark) was originally a Top 15 Billboard country hit for Emmylou Harris and appeared on her 1978 album, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town.[3] Most of the album's tracks speak of planning revenge on ex lovers. Lambert said she drew inspiration for writing such music because both her parents were private investigators and she was frequently exposed to crime scenes. Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke were both chosen as producers of the album, since both previously produced her 2005 release, Kerosene.[4]

Most of the album's tracks describe women who seek revenge on their ex lovers. The first track, "Gunpowder & Lead," discusses a woman who plans revenge on an abusive boyfriend by killing him with her shotgun. The album's title track explains how an ex-girlfriend will not let her former lover date other women. The woman walks into the bar where her lover is and creates a scene by committing acts of violence. Other songs have more mellow themes behind them. The third track, "Famous in a Small Town" is drawn from real life experiences and situations when Lambert was younger.[5]

In an interview with Young Money Magazine, Lambert described Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and how it compared with her previous release. Lambert clarified that although most listeners view her as a "badass" singer, other songs on the album also show a more mellow-sounding side of her musical artistry.[6]

"I definitely put more of myself out there on this one. People hear songs like “Kerosene” and even “Gunpowder & Lead” from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and think I’m always that badass, but if you listen to the record and hear songs like “Desperation” and “More Like Her,” the softer side comes through. And at first I was like, “Crap, I just said a whole lot about myself and now there’s no going back!” but fans and critics have responded so well I guess it was a good thing to do!"[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (85/100)[7]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau A[8]
Entertainment Weekly A−[9]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[10]
Slant 5/5 stars[11]
Stylus Magazine A[12]
About.com 4/5 stars[5]

Upon its release, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend received general acclaim from most music critics.[13] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 85, based on 15 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[13]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave the album five out of five stars, making it their "album pick". Erlewine praised the fact that Lambert was Nashville Star's first "bona fide star the televised music competition has produced." Erlewine revealed with the album's ninth track, "Guilty in Here", that Lambert has a "sly sense of humor", but later says that she's "not joking around". In his final statements, Erlewine further comments on his reasoning for giving the album such a high review, saying, "Every one of the 11 songs shares the same spirit and Lambert's is strong enough of a writer to hold her own with such heavy-hitters, possessed with a wry wit and clear eye for little details, mining the unexpected from such familiar subjects as love and loss and jealously and rage. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would have been impressive if it was just a showcase of her strengths as a singer or as a songwriter, but since it is both, it's simply stunning, a breakthrough for Lambert and one of the best albums of 2007, regardless of genre."[3]

Rolling Stone's Robert Christgau gave Crazy Ex-Girlfriend four out of five stars. Christgau regarded that the album is likely to win "album of the year" because of its artistry. Christgau compared Lambert's material to that of songs such as the Dixie Chicks's "Goodbye Earl" and Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman" for their "rebel girl" mood. At the end of the review, Christgau states, "Lambert does have a thoughtful side, but the violent moments define a little lady who also cites the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb" and rocks a Patty Griffin cover. Smoking."[10] Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine gave the album five out of five stars. Keefe gave high praise to the album, commenting, "Hell, there's probably a good 5,000 words to be written just on the way these songs fly in the face of the genre's historically and presently conservative gender politics. Brash, insightful, wry, and, above all else, smart, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend confirms that Miranda Lambert is far more than just the latest in a long line of bad girls: She's a country music legend in the making, and the most vital artist Music Row has produced in a generation."[11]

Josh Love of Stylus Magazine reviewed Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and gave the release an "A" rating. Love commented that the album is a coming of age release for Lambert because she has crafted "...a persona whose power relies not on values, beliefs, or experiences, but on feints, distance, and masterful command." He also felt that Lambert seemed to be in control when performing throughout the album, even when she lets her guard down." In conclusion, Love explained his reasoning for his praise on Lambert and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, stating, "It may sound like hyperbole, but I think Miranda Lambert is at a very rarified place right now, turning her songs into vehicles for a persona that transcends background narrative and personal history (apparently she’s a Republican for fuck’s sake!). This is Jagger, Bowie, Debbie Harry, and early MJ territory. The only contemporary performers I can think of who can boast a similar level of self-possession are Jay-Z and Beyoncé."[12]

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was ranked at number 26 on Rolling Stones list of the Top 50 Albums of 2007.[14] The title track was also ranked at #28 on Rolling Stones list of the 100 Best Songs of 2007.[15] The album also won the Academy of Country Music's "Album of the Year" award in 2008, becoming Lambert's second award from the award association.[1]

Rhapsody ranked the album number 10 on its "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" list.[16] Newsweek ranked it number 4 on its "Best Albums of the Decade" list.[17]

Chart performance[edit]

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's title track was released as the album's lead single on December 26, 2006. The song debuted at number 55 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart a week prior to its official release at radio.[18] The song did not become a major hit, only peaking at number 50. In April, the album's third track, "Famous in a Small Town" was released as the second single, debuting at number 54 on the Billboard country chart.[19] The song became the first major hit from the album reaching a peak of number 14 in late 2007. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was then officially released May 3, 2007, debuting at number 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and number 6 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling 53,000 copies within its first week.[20] It became Lambert's second album to debut at number 1 on Billboard Top Country Albums chart, as Kerosene had also debuted at number 1 in 2005.[21] "Gunpowder & Lead" was released as the third single in January 2008. The song became Lambert's first Top 10 hit single on the Billboard country chart, reaching a peak of number 7, while also reaching number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100.[22] During the same time, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over 500,000 copies in the United States.[23] As of 2013, the album has sold 1,252,962 in the United States.[24] On January 21, 2011, nearly four years after the album's release, Crazy Ex Girlfriend was certified Platinum.[25] "More Like Her" became the album's fourth and final single, peaking at number 17 on the country chart in early 2009.[26] For the week issued December 8, 2012, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend re-entered the Billboard 200 at number 56, almost five years after its release date.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Gunpowder & Lead"   Miranda Lambert, Heather Little 3:11
2. "Dry Town"   David Rawlings, Gillian Welch 2:42
3. "Famous in a Small Town"   Lambert, Travis Howard 4:05
4. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"   Lambert, Howard 3:07
5. "Love Letters"   Lambert 2:45
6. "Desperation"   Lambert 3:31
7. "More Like Her"   Lambert 3:28
8. "Down"   Lambert, Howard 3:55
9. "Guilty in Here"   Lambert, Howard 2:43
10. "Getting Ready"   Patty Griffin 3:21
11. "Easy from Now On"   Carlene Carter, Susanna Clark 4:37
Total length:
37:25

The three retailer-exclusive bonus tracks would later appear on the Dead Flowers EP in 2009.

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Album
Chart (2007) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200[27] 6
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums[27] 1
Singles
Year Song Peak chart positions[28]
US Country US
2006 "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" 50
2007 "Famous in a Small Town" 14 87
2008 "Gunpowder & Lead" 7 52
"More Like Her" 17 90
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.
Preceded by
Some Hearts by Carrie Underwood
Top Country Albums number-one album
May 19, 2007
Succeeded by
Some Hearts by Carrie Underwood

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[29] Platinum

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""Crazy Ex" wins album of the year". UPI. 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  2. ^ Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Liner Notes, Columbia Nashville, 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  4. ^ Flippo, Chet (3 May 2007). "NASHVILLE SKYLINE: Miranda Lambert Hits Stride With New CD". Country Music Television. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Fabian, Shelly. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Review". About.com. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Interview with Country Music Star Miranda Lambert". Young Money Magazine. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Miranda Lambert". Robert Christgau. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (April 22, 2007). "EW: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Miranda Lambert: Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Keefe, Jonathan. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Love, Josh (8 May 2007). "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  14. ^ "Top Albums of 2007". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  15. ^ "Top Songs of 2007". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  16. ^ "Country’s Best Albums of the Decade" Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  17. ^ [1] Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  18. ^ Shelburne, Craig (16 December 2006). "Sugarland Secures First No. 1 at Country Radio". Country Music Television. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  19. ^ Morris, Edward (31 March 2007). "Willie, Merle, Ray and Bon Jovi Make Chart Surges". Country Music Television. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  20. ^ "Ne-Yo Scores Second No. 1 In Debut-Heavy Week". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  21. ^ Gilbert, Calvin (12 May 2007). "Miranda Lambert Gets Crazy on the Charts". Country Music Television. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  22. ^ Erickson, Mark (8 July 2008). "Miranda Lambert - Gunpowder and Lead". Roughstock. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  23. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  24. ^ "Taylor Swift's "Fearless" Tops Charts for a Record 10th Week". Roughstock. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  25. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - January 25, 2011: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend certified awards". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  26. ^ Morris, Edward (30 August 2008). "Keith Urban's "Shirt" Is Top Song, Sugarland Still Has No. 1 Album". Country Music Television. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  27. ^ a b "Crazy Ex Girlfriend > Chart positions". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  28. ^ "Crazy Ex Girlfriend chart positions > singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  29. ^ "American album certifications – Miranda Lambert – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH