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The all-inclusive, ever-changing, and uncomfortably flexible guide to all things music in the 2010's.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Greatest Songs of 2011: #44: Pistol Annies - "Hell on Heels"

For a mainstream country song, “Hell on Heels” has a pretty irregular structure. It features three verses and three choruses, but its three verses are all performed in succession. The conventions of pop music will tell you that putting three verses next to each other like that will make a song fatally drag, but pop music conventions don’t have a stipulation for the personalities Miranda Lambert, Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe bring to the table. The harmonies are perfect and the verses about taking advantage of men for their money are hilarious. “I got a GTO from one named Joe,” Presley brags. “And a big piece of land down in Mexico.” It’s fun stuff and you can’t help but root for Presley’s escapades as she lists them off. The same goes for Lambert’s verse as well.
But of course the third verse steals the show. Ashley Monroe’s been on the country circuit since 2005, but her performance here makes her sound like the newcomer to the golddigger brigade. “Then there’s Jim, I almost forgot,” she sings, as if unintentionally interrupting the proceedings. She trills her notes like she’s innocently cracking her voice, but she reveals herself to be just as devious as her comrades. “Poor old Billy, bless his heart,” she muses over smooth drum fills. “I’m still using his credit card.” It’s an incredible hit to the gut that makes the last two iterations of the chorus a powerful battle cry. Even though I’m a male who would experience direct disadvantages from the actions portrayed in “Hell on Heels,” I’d like to think I’d feel a little better if a song like it was inspired as a result. 


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