RAVE and WRECK of the week: April 19, 2010

Matt Busekroos

RAVE of the week: Miranda Lambert sweeps ACM Awards

Country fireball Miranda Lambert finally earned long overdue recognition from the country music community at the 45th Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM) on April 18. Lambert won her second ACM Album of the Year Award for “Revolution.” She previously won the award in 2008 for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” and is the first female to win the award twice. “Revolution” features hit singles “Dead Flowers,” “White Liar,” and her latest, “The House That Built Me.” Lambert beat out notable artists such as Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley. However, it was Lambert’s victory in Female Vocalist of the Year that garnered the most surprise, defeating three-time recipient Carrie Underwood and Country Music Association Awards winner Taylor Swift. It’s about damn time. Lambert has been working steadily since placing third during the first season of “Nashville Star” in 2003. She is easily the show’s breakout success story. Lambert recently received her first No. 1 hit on country radio with “White Liar,” a scorching tune of cheating and betrayal. Not only does Lambert perform with unmatched swagger when performing hits like “Kerosene” and “Gunpowder & Lead,” but she evokes delicate emotion during songs “More Like Her” and “Dead Flowers,” among countless others. Times are changing in country music and Lambert’s time is finally here.

WRECK of the week: Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston needs to get it together. Houston has been touring to promote her latest album, “I Look to You,” throughout the world. Fans have come out of concerts disappointed, even booing the R&B songstress for her lackluster performances. During a recent performance of “I Will Always Love You” in Birmingham, U.K., Houston lazily spoke most of the lyrics. She had the tenacity to stop mid-performance for almost an entire minute before heading into the final chorus. Clearly, Houston’s voice is not what it used to be given years of alleged recreational drug use. Houston needs to recognize that her capabilities are not what they used to be and she must learn to work with the voice she has now. It may not be the worst idea for her to change the arrangements of her hit songs, so she can find it easier to hit the high notes. Often sending her brother to perform songs for her, Houston cannot even make it through a full concert performing her own songs. Unusually long breaks for water consumption during the middle of songs are also a common occurrence. Whoever pays to see Houston live may need to re-think their decision and watch recent performances on YouTube. Houston’s vocals are oftentimes inaudible due to heavy panting and breathing. She sounds like an 80-year-old in desperate need of an oxygen mask. For the love of music, Whitney: Please stop.