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Miranda Lambert

Platinum – 2014 (Sony Nashville)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Miranda Lambert

Cynics might think that Miranda Lambert is presumptuous in entitling her fifth disc "Platinum" and, in effect, assuming she'll get her plaque for selling 1 million units. But Lambert says that isn't the case, but more a matter of style, looks and feel.

Lambert also wrote and discovered a lot of excellent songs that fit her quite well in an album in which she exposes her inner self as she matures. That may never more apparent than in the country rocker Lambert wrote "Bathroom Sink": "It's amazing the amount of rejection that I see/In my reflection but I can't get out of the way/I'm lookin' forward to the girl I wanna be."

Lambert shows that she is a fighter, singing from the perspective of the strong female right from the start with the lead-off, mid-to-slow tempoed "Girls," the more rocking title track and "Little Red Wagon."

Lambert tends to show far more of her traditional country side here amidst the 16 songs co-produced yet again by Frank Liddell, who was top shelf. Chief among them is the consecutive trifecta of "Old Shit," one of several songs where Lambert isn't held back by language, Dixie and Tom T. Hall's swinging "All That's Left" and the bluesy "Gravity is a B-ch." The ace Nashville amalgam, The Time Jumpers help out on the bouncy "All That's Left." "Gravity" is a humorous look at getting older and packing the pounds. The song is even funnier because of the flak Lambert received in recent months for dropping weight.

"Hard Staying Sober" is one of those tried-and-true country drinking songs, which you don't hear so much these days unless it's about good ol' engraved Southern boys, where Lambert wallows in her drink thanks to a dead relationship. Hey, you can even hear pedal steel and steely guitar licks!

Addressing various marital rumors about her umpteenth divorce from hubby Blake Shelton, Lambert offers a bit of a departure with the rockabilly groove in the rave-up "Priscilla," which relates her marriage with that of Priscilla and Elvis Presley and the tabloids.

One of the very few low spots is the ballyhooed song with Carrie Underwood, "Somethin' Bad." It was has nothing to do with the quality. Both Underwood and Lambert sing just fine, but the over-the-top arena rocker has zero in common with the rest of the music. Yes, that's part of Lambert's repertoire, but she amply showed she is capable of far more than that.

Now about that plaque...While there are no guarantees about sales in the world we live in, one thing is certain. If honors were given out based on quality, Miranda Lambert's "Platinum" would have more than earned the singer her award.