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Revolution by Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert has established an indelible identity over the past four years as part reflective ingénue and part vengeance demon, a pistol-packin’ mama with a heart of gold. Revolution solidifies and expands on that personality with a 15-track set of rock-solid originals and exquisitely chosen covers (Fred Eaglesmith’s 12-year-old “Time to Get a Gun” may as well have been written to order for her). In terms of performance, songwriting and musical translation of Miranda’s considerable charisma, Revolution is at least the equal of its predecessors.

So what’s the problem? It’s not Miranda–it’s the sound. In keeping with rock records from the last few years, Revolution is cursed with an overdose of what’s known as “loudness.” That means the volume has been artificially pumped up past the point at which it begins to distort. The end result is that more raucous songs here congeal into a distorted, undifferentiated racket and the ballads sound sonically flat and lacking in dynamics.

That’s a shame, because Revolution showcases a singer and a set of songs that deserve close listening now more than ever.

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