Album Review: Pistol Annies - "Interstate Gospel"

Lone Star Annie, Holler Annie, & Hippie Annie are back together with a new set of country music songs that chronicle life's happiest and messiest moments.

Pistol Annies is a female vocal power trio, comprised of Angalenena Presley, Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert. Most mainstream country fans know little about Presley and Monroe, but they’re both extremely talented and underrated singer/songwriters. Together, these three help Lambert express the lighter side of broken romance – assuming there even is a ‘lighter side’ to breakups. “Stop Drop and Roll One,” a cute song about rolling a joint, though, just wouldn’t have fit on the mostly heavyhearted Weight of These Wings, Lambert’s song cycle surrounding her divorce from Blake Shelton.

When an album opens with the lines, “Jesus is the bread of life/Without him we’re toast,” from “Interstate Prelude,” it’s obvious these girls had many giggles recording it. Also, “Got My Name Changed Back,” with its ramped-up country music groove, celebrates freedom, rather than loss. Nevertheless, “When I Was His Wife” sadly warns of a guy that’s just no good.

Much like Lambert’s solo music, Pistol Annies create traditional country music that sounds relevant, not dated. One called “Cheyenne,” with its sweet fiddle accompaniment, expresses awe for a woman with a tougher heart than most. “I’d be just as cold as the beer in her hand,” they sing. “Masterpiece” is another sad country song. Its lyric speaks of a romance that looks better on canvass than it appears in real life.

With “Sugar Daddy,” these girls express the kind of sass last heard on Lambert’s “Pink Sunglasses.” It’s a rocker, with a wonderful electric guitar solo. It’s also a hoot, and the country equivalent to Madonna’s “Material Girl.” Even though Pistol Annies sing about chasing the bling, and wish for unbreakable hearts, “Leavers Lullaby” reminds us that even girls that just want to have fun, still have fragile hearts.