Ask any girl whose listened to a country song in the past 15 years, and they’ll tell you that Miranda Lambert speaks to their soul.
And as it goes with any successful artist with several stellar albums under their belt, certain songs just don’t get the attention they deserve. With Miranda, I could just about say every song that wasn’t released as a single is underrated, but I’ve narrowed it down to some of her best that you may not have heard before.
If you’ve never done a deep dive into the incredible Miranda Lambert catalog, here’s ten of my favorite deep cuts.
10. Look At Miss Ohio
Originally a song by Gillian Welch and co-written by David Rawlings, Miranda makes it all her own. It’s a lonesome song not about the struggles of a pageant queen as the title may suggest, but about the struggles this girl faces to live her life while being judged for not living up to the expectations that society has placed on her. The songwriting is brilliant, and you’d hardly be able to guess Miranda didn’t pen it herself once you hear this version.
9. Use My Heart
This strikingly honest track comes off of Miranda’s supposed “divorce album,” The Weight of These Wings. Though I caution you not to label it as such, considering it’s chalk full of lessons and tales beyond marriage. It’s more so her album of life advice and wrong turns she’s taken up to the point it was written. It happens to include a few heartbreak tracks, too, including this spectacular song. Some days just getting out of bed can feel impossible, and having to use your heart on top of it all? Well, it can weigh down a whole lot of things and she explains it all poetically here.
8. Ugly Lights
Mainly because I miss honky-tonks and bars, this one is making the list. Miranda wrote this one after she found herself at bars until closing time in a string of consecutive nights in midtown Nashville. If you’ve ever been there at last call when the lights come on, then you will connect to every sentence and lyric of this song. And, if you understand exactly what she’s referring to when she calls them “ugly lights,” then this one might be your new favorite.
7. Dry Town
Another old school Miranda gem, it’s also my worst nightmare. Miranda details her pit stop in a town she happens to be passing through on a road trip. It just so happens that the gas station she wants to buy beer at doesn’t have any Miller to be found. To her shock and dismay, she learns that she’s in a dry town and proceeds to explain how some of the townspeople find a way to get their hands on it despite that.
6. Pink Sunglasses
Written by Rodney Clawson, Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby (the latter two were her co-writers on the number one hit “Bluebird”), “Pink Sunglasses” never ended up being a single. She describes how her favorite pair of pink sunglasses make her feel unstoppable. Why? “I’m a firm believer in the power of the plastic, positive plastic.” And if it makes you feel a little more glamorous buying Little Debbies in the check out line? Well hell, we all need a pair of those.
5. Track Record
Though I’m hoping “Tequila Does” is her next single, this one would be a close second. It’s one of my favorites off of her most recent album Wildcard for its catchy melody and clever play on words. She admits she has a lot of faults and has made plenty of mistakes, and this song is her admission of imperfection and how she got there.
4. Runnin’ Just in Case
The best part about this song is that it cuts to the heart of the human condition and the demons we all face. Sure, Miranda will tell you she’s not looking for love, but that’s no matter. The sheer fact that running from anything is her natural instinct indicates that it doesn’t in fact matter at all what’s chasing her. And even if she does find love, is she gonna stick around long enough to see it through?
3. Me and Your Cigarettes
Co-written by Miranda, Ashley Monroe and Blake Shelton, it has a retro vibe with an incredible metaphor where Miranda finds herself just about as useful as the fleeting high of a cigarette. With a relationship (if that’s what you wanna call it) that’s unstably off and on, it’s bound to end badly. Not naïve to the situation, Miranda acknowledges “It ain’t love but just like nicotine, you’re addicted to a feeling you can only get, from me and your cigarettes.” Yeah, you’re gonna love this one.
2. Bathroom Sink
It’s not only an underrated deep cut and solo write, but one of her best songs altogether. It’s one of the most incredible ways to describe what it’s like to be a woman I’ve ever heard. While the quickest way to mask the pain and insecurities we all have is to do so physically with eyelashes and lipstick, of course surface level resolve can only go so deep. It temporarily masks matters of the heart and usually, it will leave you feeling more empty than before. If you feel attacked when you listen to this song, you’re not alone, “It’s amazing, the amount of rejection that I see in my reflection, and I can’t get out of the way”.
This song has it all and I love everything about it. Mix together humor, sass, creativity and solid songwriting and you get this shimmering anthem. It’s an ode to all things platinum, from hair, to records, to airstreams. Everything platinum is just better, and as the song suggests, blondes really do have more fun. I dare you to not listen to this one at maximum volume. I don’t know how this song didn’t go platinum because it’s as high-quality as they come.