"Bad Example," crafted by Lambert and Monroe, takes a page from the Judds and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Guitars flood the arrangement, and at the outset, Pistol Annies rear back and lash out. "Nobody 'round here wants to ramble. What the hell, that's what I was born to do," they sing. Poking fun at society, they point out their "Honk if Your Horny" sticker, girls whose daddies buy them college degrees, and living out of a tip jar. As "a third generation bartender," she's content living a simple yet rowdy lifestyle, and she's doesn't care who notices. Then again, someone had to be the bad example, right?
The simple life, however, comes with a toll. On "Housewife's Prayer," an overworked and over tired woman is "about to go off the deep end." Clocking in at two minutes and forty-eight seconds, "Prayer" is a story of wanting more in life and not being able to make ends meet. "I've been thinking about setting my house on fire," the housewife recounts after much deliberation. Pushing the lyrics to the limits, the track may give some women the wrong idea. In much the same way that Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" inspired women to seek revenge on the cheater's automobile, this album cut punctures to the core human nature and gushes steam from a troubled life. What better way than to set the very thing that causes you grief ablaze?
From the boot-scootin'-inspired guitar intro to the free wheeling vocals, "Takin' Pills," another trio penned song, is relentless on the sassy hilarity. "Who in the hell's gonna pay these bills when one's drinkin', one's smokin', one's takin' pills," they echo on the chorus. A free life begets lousy results. As the lyrics tell the tale of a Kentucky born and raised gal, one begins to wonder if the lyrics are autobiographical. Presley, often called "Holler Annie," is from the hills of Kentucky, and Monroe, aka "Hippie Annie," is from Eastern Tennessee, right around the same area as in the song. Regardless if the lyrics bare some truth, what the three Annies have done is create a timeless piece of work. Pushing boundaries is certainly a thread deeply sewn into each track, and "Pills" just may be the gutsiest entry yet.
"Boys from the South," written by Lambert and Monroe, takes a surprising twist as a touching love letter. Listing off (possible) lost loves, Pistol Annies pull back on the edgy vengeance-fumed anthems and deliver a sensitive and heartfelt performance. "Maybe he's in Georgia, staring at the stars," Lambert swoons on the first verse. By making generalizations about love, they somehow manage to activate the tear ducts, as everyone can relate to the inevitable occurrence of a broken heart. Tenderly, the sweet melody and chorus, along with the adequately plucked strings, make this song an album highlight.