12 years later, Four the Record remains a timeless country music album.
On this date in 2011, Miranda Lambert released her fourth studio album as the follow up to her previous three records, Kerosene, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Revolution.
It was the highest-charting album of her career at the time, peaking at #3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Though that’s quite an impressive record, this one seems to get lost in the shuffle of all nine stellar albums she has to her name.
There are so many good songs and writers on this album that I don’t know why it doesn’t get more credit in terms of it being one of her best. With songs like “Mama’s Broken Heart”, “Fastest Girl in Town”, and a beautiful cover of “Look at Miss Ohio”, it’s a prime example of a no-skip record.
And that’s just scratching the surface of all the good stuff on the tracklist.
Of the process for this particular album, she said she just recorded what spoke to her and pulled it together to create an entire, cohesive project:
“Whatever felt right is what I recorded. As the record started to take shape, we realized what kind of fit on there and what didn’t. You know, in ‘Revolution’, I kind of showed my softer side a little bit, and had a song called “Love Song”.
But this record I think was here to show my sense of humor. And now that I’m married to Blake, you know, he’s got such a great sense of humor, I think that’s rubbed off on me and it shows in this record.
I don’t keep a journal, I make records, so whatever is in my music is where I am. There’s all aspects of my life in every one of these songs.”
And one of the things that makes this one different from the aforementioned three she put out prior to it is how diverse the songs are:
“Even the guy, Chuck, that mixed the record, said you know, on some records he works on, he sort of leaves everything the same on the mixing board throughout the process.
And on this record, he said every single day, he starts from zero, because there’s so many different sounds on every song.”
From Chris Stapleton and Ashley Monroe, to Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves, she featured the best of the best in terms of writers, and that was not done my mistake:
“Bringing in outside songs, of writers that I respect and love, and people that have gone through different experiences than I have, and just come in from this whole other side, I really feel like it gives me character and my record character.”
For all of those reasons and more, it pushed her further into the top spot as one of country music’s most recognizable female artists.
With five singles, including her #1 hit “Over You”that she wrote with now ex-husband Blake Shelton, Miranda opened herself up to an even wider audience beyond country music, which was a goal she had from the get-go:
“Hopefully I can do what I keep sayin’ Taylor and Carrie have done, which is bring a whole other audience to country music.
And this record of mine, I think, would be the one to do that.”
Though I could go on and on about how much I love this record or why it resonated so deeply with me and plenty of other young women, as well as country music fans and music fans in general, I think the songs speak for themselves: