Monday, March 1, 2010

"The House That Built Me" Falls Apart

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed our first week on the internet. If you like what we’re doing here, I encourage you to spread the word, comment or sign up to follow along. Guest submissions are, as always, more than welcome.

I thought while we were on the topic of Blake Shelton, it might make sense to discuss Miranda Lambert a bit, and it really couldn’t have come at a better time. Miranda has been a consistent talent now for a few years. She burst onto the country scene with fiery hits like “Kerosene” and “Gunpowder and Lead”, playfully angry songs about getting revenge on guys who had wronged her. An extremely talented singer/songwriter, Lambert followed up those hits with a more refined track of releases including “Famous in a Small Town,” and recently, “White Liar,” a really well-put together vocal track. She’s a saucy girl – long on talent and looks.

But I don’t believe her most recent hit, “The House That Built Me,” is as poignant and moving as some people have recently suggested. In fact, certain notable blogs have gone as far as calling it the song of the year. Now this is the perfect example of what I was talking about last week. Here we have an up and coming talent, on the cusp of the A-list, singing a song about going back home to the “house that built her” to find herself. It’s emotionally daring, revealing and risky; the exposure of private feelings on a touching subject on such a public stage is always a personal risk. But that does not mean we need to automatically herald this song as being anything out of the ordinary. In fact, I don’t think there’s anything remarkably special about the song. Vocally, it’s extremely one-dimensional – there’s no vast exhibition of range or vocal talent. Contrary to what others have said, I also don’t find the lyrics extremely articulate. Ultimately, I think this song is lacks the invocation of emotion – the single most important factor, I believe, in judging a song’s success. How many people can relate to coming back to the house they grew up in, years later, and experiencing the memories of their childhood in an effort to find themselves? Yeah, maybe some people, but it’s a limited demographic. As a 22 year old, I can’t relate, and I find it difficult to believe that Miranda, at the ripe old age of 27, can either. Truly memorable songs elicit an emotional reaction in everyone that hears them -- maybe not the same emotion, but a significant response nonetheless. Miranda’s certainly got headlining talent, but “The House That Built Me” is not the hit its cracked up to be.


  1. Dear Urban Cowboy,

    Eloquently put. Although, I can't help but wonder whether you are hypothesizing that Miranda at age 27 does not as of yet have the life experiences to sing these emotionally charged lyrics. Isn't every human being at a different stage of emotional development at any one time? Your prompt rebuttal is much appreciated.

  2. J. Simon,

    I am in fact suggesting that Miranda probably lacks the life experience to sing about such a mature topic. While I agree with your point that everyone progresses at a different rate emotionally, I find it hard to believe that such a young girl would have the life experience to truly relate to what shes singing about on this track. But even if she does in fact possess the emotional maturity to do this topic justice, the song still does not connect emotionally with a broad audience -- which ultimately is its greatest failing.

  3. As someone who has made his living(albeit filled with elbow surgery and blown saves) persuing the lifestyle of the true urban cowboy, I applaud you for your insight on the state of American country music.
    -Billy Wagner

  4. Going to have to disagree about the assessment. A house is more than a house when you're a child. For the time when you're not at school, it's your life. It's your safe place. Your house is your home, a deeper connection.

    From one (of many) Youtube commenters on this song:

    "I totally miss the old house that I grew up in. They tore it down to make a church. It was my dream to one day buy that house, now I'm just gonna have to make replica. It's my home. No other place feels like home except for that little house on the hill. I learned to swim there. I totally get this song and I get where the artist is coming from. A house isn't just a home, especially if you grew up there. It's where your heart is. It's what built you into the person you are today."

    Plus, isn't this just Miranda's version of 'Who Says You Can't Go Home' by Bon Jovi? Just because he's a bigger name shouldn't make his variation of the same idea more poignant.

  5. Women linked to Tiger Woods

    Emma Rotherham allegedly had early-morning sex on Woods' office couch. Tiger reportedly loved to see her in black stockings and suspenders.

    Story continues below

    Jaimee Grubbs (PHOTOS) saved a voicemail from her lover, as well as steamy text messages. Jaimee stripped down for two magazines (sexy PHOTOS).

    Jamie Jungers (PHOTOS) says she and Tiger had "wild" and "crazy" sex against a wall. She also claims to have slept with Woods the night his father died. Jungers, who allegedly once worked as a stripper, parlayed her newfound fame into jobs pitching vodka and an auction web site. She also appeared on the Today show and Dateline.

    Julie Postle (PHOTOS) allegedly met Woods when she worked as a cocktail waitress in Orlando. Tiger was reportedly "obsessed" with Postle and "really hunted" her. She was also photographed in a bikini.

    Susie Ogren says she took ecstasy with Tiger and he hoped "to get me into bed."

    Rachel Uchitel (PHOTOS) was the first of Tiger's alleged mistresses. Woods reportedly emailed her once to say that "I finally found someone I connect with." In another alleged email, Woods shared a steamy fantasy of Uchitel simultaneously having sex with Derek Jeter and Bones star David Boreanaz. A National Enquirer source called Uchitel a "celebrity whore."

    Loredana Jolie, a Playboy model, was allegedly "one of [Tiger's] favorites." She is planning a book that will spill the beans on Woods' alleged sexual encounters with men.

    Theresa Rogers has been described as a "cougar" who allegedly boasted that she taught Tiger "everything he needed to know to be a great lover." She reportedly conceived a baby while she was seeing Woods, but an article suggests she believes the father is a Serbian basketball player she was also seeing at the time. According to another article, Woods told Rogers that he only married Elin Nordegren to boost his image. The 40-something Rogers may have negotiated a payoff in exchange for her silence.

    Joslyn James is a porn star (PHOTOS, VIDEO) who has starred in films such as Porn Star Brides and MIA - Milfs In Action. She is also wanted in Washington state.

    Holly Sampson is a porn star (NSFW pictures, video) whose films include Descent Into Bondage and Diary of a Horny Housewife. She may have worked as an escort (NSFW) and appeared in a video in which she describes her "amazing" sex with Tiger Woods. In another article, she spoke about the "sensual, beautiful experience."

  6. Thomas Jefferson cheated on his wife with one of his slaves - now ask yourself, did he get all this bad press that Tiger Woods is getting? Can't say he did.