The good news? Miranda Lambert has completed her much anticipated, though somewhat overdue, fifth album. The bad news? You have to wait until June 3 for “Platinum,” a full two years and eight months since her last LP.
Why the wait? Lambert released an album with her Pistol Annies trio in 2013 and extended her tour. She also decided she was at a place in her career where she’d earned the time to fulfill her entire creative vision, and it simply took time.
“From the day you kinda go I need to start looking for songs and writing songs, it feels like no matter how much time you have, you’re rushed,” Lambert said. “And so I didn’t want to rush it at all. To me it’s all about timing and making sure that you can feel like you can finally sit there and go, OK, the album’s done, and never have a moment where you go, I wish we could change that or I wish we had a different song.”
An early listen reveals the singer’s most ambitious album yet. At 16 songs, “Platinum” sprawls across genre and style and expands on her already adventurous sense of song choice. She says everyone urged her to trim a few songs and conform to the usual country conventions.
“Now when you listen to it as a whole, what do you take off?” she asked.
The album paints a picture of Lambert’s life as she reaches 30. She wrote or co-wrote eight songs and chose the others based on how they reflected her personality or world view.
The first single, “Automatic,” suggests returning to a slower time and way of thinking. She contemplates her self-image in “Bathroom Mirror,” takes on tabloid scrutiny in “Priscilla” and teams up with several guests on songs that underscore her range and willingness to experiment.
The collaboration with Carrie Underwood on “Something Bad” brings together two of country’s most popular stars.
“We’re really rocking in country music and we’re coming together as a force,” Lambert said. “To me, like, if you’re sitting on the front row, you might want to scoot back. It’s a force. It just feels exciting to me. I’m ready to rock.”
Add Miranda Lambert’s upcoming album to the many good things that are Platinum. Set to release June 3, Platinum is not only a song on the album but it also represents a way of life for her. “Platinum is my hair color, and my wedding ring, and the color of my Airstream and the name of one of my favorite beers,” she said. “It’s about a lifestyle.”
Miranda, who wrote half of the album’s 16 songs, described the album like a picture. “All 16 songs together make up a picture, and without one of those songs, it just looks like abstract art,” she said. “I wanted it to be perfect; I wanted it to matter,” she continued.
“There’s humor on this album, and nostalgia, and it’s feminine,” said Miranda. “There’s girl power, not in the ‘I’m gonna burn your house down and kill you, but more where I am as a 30- year-old woman and wife. I’m more settled in life, embracing the good and the bad, and that’s all reflected on Platinum. I still blaze around – but in a less chaotic way,” she laughed.
Of the album, Sony Nashville Chairman/CEO Gary Overton said, “Platinum is Miranda’s best album yet! When the album was finished, she asked us to live with the new music for several weeks before we started talking about single choices, marketing ideas, etc. She knew how special this album is and wanted us to ‘hear’ it like she did. All we could say was ‘Wow!’”
“Automatic,” the first single from Platinum,got off to a historic start for Miranda. It was her highest-charting first week at radio, debuting at #35 and #26 respectively on the Country Aircheck and Billboard country airplay charts. The song currently resides inside the Top 20. Written by Miranda, Nicolle Galyon and Natalie Hemby, “Automatic” is available for purchase at http://smarturl.it/mlautomatic and at all digital retailers.
Miranda will perform the song on Sunday, April 6, at the ACM Awards, which airs live from Las Vegas on CBS. The reigning, four-time ACM Female Vocalist of the Year has seven nominations this year including Female Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year. Fan voting for Entertainer of the Year will begin on Monday, March 24, at noon PT at www.VoteACM.com and will close during the third hour of the live ACM broadcast.
Eight months since the release of her last single, Miranda Lambert is excited to introduce, “Automatic,” the first song from her forthcoming album. Written by Miranda, Nicolle Galyon and Natalie Hemby, the autobiographical song reflects on the days of pay phones, learning to drive a stick shift, driving to Dallas to buy an Easter dress, recording the country countdown on her cassette recorder and more.
“‘Automatic’ is a song about the good life,” said Miranda of the single that is available to radio on Wednesday, February 5. “It’s about slowing down, taking a breath and remembering what it’s like to live life a little more simply. It’s not about going back, but reminiscing about what it was like to hang laundry on the line and wait for it to dry and my dad teaching me how to drive my ’55 Chevy that I still have but don’t drive nearly enough,” she said. “The song brings back good memories and it reminds me to take a deep breath and to remember that getting there is half the fun.”
“Automatic” is the debut single from Miranda’s fifth album, which will be released later this year. “It’s always exciting and little bit nerve-wracking to release a new album,” said Miranda. “We’ve been writing and recording since last summer and I’m ready for the fans to hear my new music.”
Keith Urban shows no signs of slowing down. He just celebrated his 15th No. 1 hit with current single “Little Bit of Everything,” his new album Fuse is due for release Tuesday (September 10), and he just announced his next single “We Were Us” featuring Miranda Lambert. The new song will hit radio on release day.
Radio.com recently spoke with Urban about his new album, and why he decided should Lambert share the mic with him. “We Were Us” was written by Jimmy Robbins, Nicolle Galyon and Jon Nite, and Urban said choosing Lambert to sing on the track was a no-brainer.
“I just love Miranda’s voice. I love her artistry. We did some shows together many years ago. She got up and did a song with me each night and I loved our voices together,” he said.
Urban explained that in the back of his mind, he has always hoped that he would find a song that they could duet on together. “‘We Were Us’ came along and it’s not the kind of song Miranda would normally do, but her voice is the first one I heard in my head,” he said. “I called her up and sent her the song and she loved it and came to the studio. Blake came along as well and hung out for the day. Miranda and I went in and sang the song and I’m just so happy at the way it turned out.”
“We Were Us” tells the story of two former flames looking back on their lost love. Lambert and Urban share the chorus and the nostalgia.
“Back when that song was a song/ I could sing along without thinking’ ’bout you every time it came on/ Every beat, every line, every word, every time/ When a road was a road/ I could roll on through without wishin’ that empty seat was you/ Money was gas, dreams were dust/ Love was fast and we were us,” they sing. Listen to a preview.
Willie Nelson’s To All the Girls, a collection of duets with Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and other female artists, will be released Sept. 24 by Legacy Recordings. Underwood and Nelson reprise “Always on My Mind,” his hit that spent two weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s country songs chart in 1982. He collaborates with Lambert on “She Was No Good for Me.” Although the album doesn’t place a strong emphasis on Nelson’s past hits, the tracks include “Bloody Mary Morning” with Wynonna. Other collaborations on the 18-track album feature Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Loretta Lynn, Alison Krauss, Mavis Staples, Norah Jones, Shelby Lynne, Emmylou Harris and Brandi Carlile, among others. Recorded primarily in Nashville, To All the Girls is Nelson’s second album to be released this year. Let’s Face the Music and Dance was released in April to coincide with his 80th birthday.
Miranda Lambert still isn’t done releasing singles from 2011?s Four The Record, with the current ACM Female Vocalist of the Year announcing that the colorful “All Kinds of Kinds” will serve as the disc’s fifth single. Sony’s confirmed a radio add date of June 24, and also released what must be the worst cover art of 2013 (sorry JT).
It’ll be interesting to see how receptive the conservative country fans in the honky tonks are to Miranda’s lyrics about a cross-dressing congressmen and a pharmacist who drugs her kids with Ritalin, but the final single from a hit album is always a good opportunity to take a risk. It was either gonna be this or the blurry alt-country of “Fine Tune,” which would’ve struggled to garner airplay on the same stations that sent all four of Four The Records singles into the top ten of the country music charts.
Anyway, the real issue at hand is Lambert’s fifth studio album and its mystery release date. If she were to stick to her usual schedule, it’d be out before Christmas, but “All Kinds of Kinds” makes that virtually impossible. Country songs take months to build at radio, and unless Miranda Lambert magically transforms into Rihanna overnight, there’s just not enough time in the year left for a final Four The Record single and a new lead single from her next album. She also recently told an Arizona publication that she won’t hit the studio to start recording her “fun” new album until August, so we’re guesstimating that Mrs. Shelton probably won’t come out with her Four The Record follow-up until some time next year.
In the meantime, you’ll just have to enjoy “All Kinds of Kinds” and the latest Pistal Annies album.
Miranda Lambert is having a pretty good time of it.
When “Four the Record” topped the Billboard country chart in November 2011, she became the first artist in that chart’s 47-year history to have her first four albums debut at No. 1.
She also picked up album of the year at the 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards.
At this year’s ACMs, she took home song and single of the year for “Over You,” a chart-topping ballad she co-wrote with husband Blake Shelton, while adding a fourth consecutive female vocalist of the year ACM to her list of accomplishments.
At 29, she’s pretty much as big as country singers get without overtly crossing over into pop like Taylor Swift.
And that makes Lambert kind of nervous.
“It’s a little scary,” she says, “because I’ll never know when it’s just gonna stop. And I am just afraid it’s gonna stop abruptly.”
Lambert laughs, then adds, “I’m like, ‘OK, when’s the other shoe gonna drop. This is all too good.’ Everybody has a point in their career where they kind of hit their prime, and I feel like that’s where Blake and I both are right now, and it’s really great to celebrate that together.”
It’s pointed out that she and Shelton, who stars as a mentor/judge on NBC’s “The Voice,” are something of a country-music power couple.
“We are,” Lambert says, with another laugh. “And that’s so weird because when we first met, we never would have thought that. And we didn’t get together to try to be that. But it sure is nice to not feel like one is ahead of the other. It’s really kind of equal with all the great things going on. It’s fun because it’s neat to watch each other.
“And now, when it starts to go down, we’ll be on the downhill, slowing-down slope together, which might be nice as well.”
Asked if she finds herself thinking about the downhill slope ahead when she’s making a record, Lambert answers quickly and emphatically.
“Yeah!” she says. “I mean, I freak out every time. I’m like a basket case when it’s time to make a record. I get so nervous as to ‘Is this gonna work? Is this gonna be the album that stops selling, that stops getting nominated?’ I know that I can’t live like that. I can’t do my whole career like that. But it definitely crosses my mind.”
One thing she does not do, though, Lambert says, is let those kind of thoughts define the music she records.
“I never will,” she says. “To me, playing it safe is when it will end. I have never played it safe. I don’t go into the studio going ‘I’m gonna be different’ or ‘I’m gonna do something crazy.’ I just do what I like. And if it’s not safe, well, that has to be what it is. I’m always gonna do that. If I write a song I love, I cut it. It is just that simple.