By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
This is all hot stuff, and it's given the penultimate treatment on "Bring Me Down," a smoldering plea to be romantically enslaved that vacillates between backroads billet-doux and marquee hair-metal ballad, with a hugely sung chorus whose dip into minor-chord melancholy lifts an otherwise brilliant three minutes of songcraft into bona fide art.
The glory of Lambert's heating up is ably matched by the production. Every plink, plank, and plunk, smeared with the fingerprints of a dozen Music City vets, burns gold; un-ladylike behavior thus comes off as not fake but like so much comfortable confusion.
Maybe a little too gritty for her intended audience, Lambert's rocking backdoor-woman 'tude will have a place on the club circuit: The title track has been lifted straight from the Book of (Steve) Earle; the tiny, tear-inducing guitar figure intro'ing "Greyhound" could have been coerced to life by the tiny, tear-inducing fingers of Lindsay Buckingham; and "Me and Charlie Talking," Kerosene's toe-tappin' single, comes on all splashy cymbals and summery, strummed guitar like the best Southern-fried par-tay, a gathering of high-spirited creatures of circumstance, everything and everybody run through with the suggestion of sweaty, pulse-popping self-gratification. Yeah.