Known for her crass lyrics and fiery spirit, country singer Miranda Lambert paved her own path into the hearts of country music fans. She’s a blend of Toby Keith’s toughness and Dolly Parton’s hominess being nostalgic about family and home. Lambert’s fifth studio album Platinum celebrates family, lovers, and a girl’s right to stick up for herself. Utilizing an assortment of country-tuned instruments like the fiddle, harmonica, tambourine, and acoustic guitar, the music accentuates Lambert’s natural vocal flange and instinct to add an impulsive vocal hook when the mood hits her.
The opening track “Girls” moves at a slow tempo to emphasize the lyrics which layers thoughts into a multi-voiced conversation: “You can’t change her mind / Even if you wanted to / You can always try / She’ll see right through you / If you think you’re the only one she’ll want in this world / Then you don’t know nothing about girls.” The album picks up with the rumbling country rocker “Little Red Wagon” adorned in feisty guitar licks as Lambert demonstrates a tough chick bite in her vocal hooks.
The members of Little Big Town sing harmony on “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” showered in breezy orchestral tones cushioning the number in tender silhouettes. Lambert’s vocals are overdubbed creating an echoing effect that puts the listener in a reflective mood. The tambourine shimmies traipsing across “Bathroom Sink” are joined by sizzling guitars, jutting fiddles, and splashing drumbeats as Lambert’s spunky side comes out full-blown. The bluegrass textures of the harmonica in “Oh Sh^t” are bound by the hand slapping beats igniting a hootenanny romp.
Transitioning to the porch folksy swells of “Babies Makin’ Babies,” Lambert shows the side of her that treasures family. She reflects, “The American Dream on a shoestring / First you grow it then you show it / Give it a good push just like a Brady / Say you love them ’til you’re eighty / Too soon to be a mother and father / But too late for the alma mater / Always in the water / Babies makin’ babies.” From the family anthem of “Babies Makin’ Babies” to a theme song for lovers “Holding onto You,” Lambert pledges, “Ain’t no moment like when I’m holding onto you.”
Focusing on the private moments between lovers is a recurring motif as the album moves into the romantic ambience of “Another Sunday in the South.” The lyrics vow, “As sure as hell or high water, I’m getting kind of thirsty / I don’t need your mama’s lemonade / I need something from a can or a bottle on ice / Just another Sunday in the South…you and me go fishing in the dark…there’s church bells ringing down the road and we ain’t going / I’m singing Halleluiah right here with the warm wind blowing / Next to you sitting next to me / And we’re shaking that sugar tree…all you gotta do is give me that wink / This ain’t no thinking thing / Just another Sunday in the South.” It’s a sing-along tune embedded in country roots.
Platinum has its gems offering songs that reminisce about family and home, linger in the private moments between lovers, and cheer for female pride. Lambert ventures into orchestral tones and southern rock terrain, but she never abandons her country roots on the recording. They’re always present.
Girls, Little Red Wagon, Smokin’ and Drinkin’ (featuring Little Big Town), Bathroom Sink, Oh Sh*t, Babies Making Babies, Holding onto You, Another Sunday in the South