The sophomore outing from country bad-gal pals Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley picks up where their spunky 2011 debut, "Hell on Heels," left off, with a dozen new tunes happily blending don't-get-mad-get-even attitude and country piety.
Their switchblade-sharp vision incorporates acute observational powers about the human condition and savvy compositional skills that come together in songs that are piercingly honest, funny and sometimes both.
"Annie Up" opens with "I Feel a Sin Comin' On," which operates as the trio's mission statement. These three women are only too ready to go wherever their heads or hearts lead them. The great thing here is the dimension they bring, showing they're anything but one-note Annies.
They may protest about the strictures of societal conventions in "Unhappily Married," but they also are honest enough to elucidate the damage done by self-destructive solutions in "Dear Sobriety" or by failing to learn from one's own history in "Trading One Heartbreak for Another."
Mostly it feels like eavesdropping on one helluva lively girls night out.
Three and a half stars (out of four)