Miranda Lambert: Platinum

June 4, 2014 7:08 AM

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Since beginning her career with one of the industry’s most artificial jump starts—getting noticed on a talent competition reality show—Miranda Lambert has achieved pretty much every meaningless symbol of Nashville success that you can shove into a trophy case. She’s been named “Female Vocalist of the Year” five times in a row at the Academy of Country Music Awards, and she’s also won something called a Grammy. But she’s refused to let her music follow suit. Despite making her initial splash with cookie-cutter revenge fantasies like “Kerosene”, Lambert’s ensuing efforts, whether solo or with her band Pistol Annies, have shown an artist too restless and ambitious to stick to one kind of story.

Her fifth album, Platinum, is where it all comes to a head. This is a chart-baiting country album that’s enamored with 1980s pop and hair metal, which also happens to be an exploration of the spoils, perils, and hypocrisies of female stardom. One moment, you’ll hear a Lambert who’s under the spell o...

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