Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #53: "Hell on Heels" -- Pistol Annies

When was the last time we had an especially good country music girl group? Does that even ever happen? Certainly not often -- for either gender, really. To be fair, country is better known for its individual stars than its groups or bands -- but regardless, there hasn't been a girl group in country to give a damn about since Dixie Chicks, and despite their being a group, Natalie Maines was their lead singer, with the other two (I call them that because no one actually knows their names, and even if I said who they were, you'd forget within minutes anyway) as backup.

Pistol Annies are a supergroup more so than a normal 'group,' or so I'd say. Granted, Miranda Lambert is the main draw here, and the only one with more than two singles that actually did anything anywhere. Ashley Monroe had two middling singles five years ago, and very few had even heard of Angeleena Presley before this year. Still, Lambert's inclusion brought it over the top, rendering us unable to write off Pistol Annies as a lackluster attempt at chart success for two artists who had had little-to-none.

Luckily, even if that had been the case, it wouldn't have mattered. The group is good. Really good.

In particular, "Hell on Heels," the title track from Pistol Annies' debut album, stands out. The song is a barnburner of immense proportions. Featuring three-part harmonies from the trio and a turn at lead vocals from each singer, Pistol Annies tell the individual stories of each man they've wronged.

It's definitely a "girl power" kind of ordeal. The three are ruthless and downright conniving in explaining their stories. And as Monroe sings on the chorus, "I'm gonna break me a million hearts." "I'm hell on heels," the group continues, "Baby I'm coming for you." We don't really know WHY they're acting this way, but one thing is known -- don't get in their way.

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