On this date in 2009, she released her third studio album, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart, and was her third consecutive #1 album after Kerosene in 2005 and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in 2007. It also won Album of the Year award at the ACMs and at the CMAs in 2010.
While it produced one of her biggest hits and signature songs, “The House That Built Me”, there’s quite a few other tracks on the record that don’t get the credit they deserve.
Miranda wrote or co-wrote all but four out of the 15 songs on the album’s tracklist, and I think that’s pretty apparent when you listen to it from top to bottom. It’s a deeply personal record where she’s open about her struggles with life, love and everything in between.
And not only was this a #1 album for Miranda, but it allowed her to show off more of her softer side after earning a bit of a reputation with previous songs we all know and love like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Kerosene,” which she has noted before was not done by accident.
But there’s one song in particular that will always hold a special place in my heart, which is the fourth song on the tracklist, “Me and Your Cigarettes.”
A co-write by Miranda with her best friend and fellow Pistol Annie Ashley Monroe, as well as her ex-husband Blake Shelton, it’s honestly one of the best, most honest country songs in her catalog.
It definitely has a throwback, vintage country sound to it, along 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.”
I mean, SHEESH. If I was going to show someone three of Miranda’s best songs who’s never listened to her music before, this deep cut is making that list no question.
It’s so raw and real, and let’s be honest, I think just about every girl on the planet can relate to the sentiment of feeling about as tempting, but as utterly useless, as a quick-burning cigarette:
“Gives you something you can do with your hands Makes you look cool and feel like a man In the morning you’ll probably regret me Me and your cigarettes”
The production here is perfect, too, and the melancholy, simple sound really allows you to feel every single word. And of course, Miranda’s authentic, twangy Texas vocals really sell it.
I could go on and on about the song, clearly, but you really do need to hear it for yourself… I’ve always felt like it’s one of her best-kept secrets:
And while we’re on the subject, “Dead Flowers” is another one of her songs that I don’t think gets nearly the credit it deserves in terms of the best stuff in her catalog.
A solo write by Miranda, this one actually was released as a single in 2009, but fizzled out at just #37 on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay chart.
She recently told Vulture that she still holds a bit of a grudge against it, after he label pulled the song from radio when it wasn’t charting high enough as quickly as they thought it would:
“It was a single, and I wrote it by myself. I did a video. The label pulled it from radio in the 40s. ‘Dead Flowers’ peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart., because they were scared that it wasn’t going to make it.
My band, every tour they’re like, ‘Can we do ‘Dead Flowers’?’ I guess I have a little bit of a grudge against it, because I’m like, damn it.
It makes me mad that it didn’t get a shot, but I’m still proud of it because I love it.”
I love it a whole lot, too, and it’s easily another one of my all-time favorite Miranda songs: