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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.