There’s something about a trio of no-bullshit, bad ass women who just don’t give a damn that is just so dang appealing. In a world where artists are treading carefully and not particularly singing and writing about what they truly want to say, it makes a change to have some of the industry’s biggest names cut no corners.
Respect is a word that comes to mind upon hearing this album and “Hell yeah” and if I could “High-Five” Miranda, Ashley and Angaleena then I would.
Pistol Annies return with their long awaited third album Interstate Gospel and it exceeds all expectations.
It isn’t just the sass and the attitude in these songs but it is the lyrics – the brutal honesty. The words of Got My Name Changed Back from a women post-divorce and how it can be liberating, can make you stronger and prove no woman needs a man to feel complete. Let’s not grieve this chapter ending but celebrate it!
It isn’t just the lyrics that go against all the values of country radio and morals of a clean-cut successful artist but is the use of traditional music with no trace of pop and the knowledge that radio won’t play you purely on the sound let alone the lyrics and still not caring.
The Pistol Annies aren’t fools. Their truth both lyrically and sonically makes them timeless artists and when people listen to their music, they truly listen and when they truly listen they learn.
The traditional sounds of the album have a somewhat gospely sound as the albums title would suggest. The gospel edge blends with a slight darkened vibe that in a way is kind of swampy, kind of covern-y, bewitching if you will which is, in my opinion quiet clever. The three “do not mess with us” women are like the wyrd sisters.
The Pistol Annies (Ashley Monroe, Angaleena Presley and Miranda Lambert) all share vocals equally with no lead singer. Lead vocalist on particular songs and verses but no one is made a sole backing vocalist. All ladies have a very distinctive voice that really stands out and all blend beautifully together.
Word play is something the girls do best and continue that with songs such as Stop, Drop and Roll. Stop, drop and roll one.
As well as the sass, the girls also bring a lot of beauty to their music in songs such as Best Years of My Life. The stunning country ballad comes with quite surrendering yet “won’t admit defeat” lyrics.
I’m gonna mix a drink and try to drown this worthlessness
Call Mom and tell her I’m alright.
Other ballads such as When I Was His Wife kind of follow on that theme of regret and falling into traps of tradition and the downfalls of a broken marriage or basing marriage on the wrong things. Angaleena, Ashley and Miranda excel in their emotive vocals. The honesty in their vocals and lyrics draws from experience and support of each other. Cheyenne, another country ballad, not too dissimilar sounding from When I Was His Wife is also quite melancholic. The words suggest an addiction to misery and a life full of it and if could treat love without any emotion. Leavers Lullaby sees Ashley Monroe in lead vocals for this song. Ashley perfects heartache and grief in her vocals and you feel every word. The downhearted lyrics and music continue in Masterpiece.
Rockier sounds come with Sugar Daddy and Comissary which also has an electric, dark, hypnotic, trippy style to it.
Acoustic sounding Milkman has a folk-tale vibe to it. The story-telling lyrics are worth listening to and the melody is hauntingly beautiful and perfect in its simplicity.
Things pick up again with the fast paced banjo sounding title track Interstate Gospel which is the lengthened version of the Interstate Prelude which kicks off the album.
The album closes with This Too Shall Pass. The heavy instrumental filled song concludes a very emotional yet powerful driven album and makes you want to start the entire album again.
Interstate Gospel is a game changer and has thrown a what was thought already finished top ten albums of the year list of ours out the water.
Pistol Annies are an important part of women in country music. This is their truth and I buy into anything they sell.