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Miranda Lambert, ‘Automatic’ [Listen]

Automatic
RCA Nashville

Miranda Lambert does nostalgia as well as she does crazy. Her new single ‘Automatic’ is a yearning look back at a time before computers, cell phones and 800 channels on TV. With familiar and original references, the singer introduces a softer tone for her fifth studio album.

Of course, the songs that surround ‘Automatic’ could be every bit as unpredictable as ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ — one can never relax with this Texas girl. But for now, fans can soak in memories of pay phones, dubbing (as in cassettes) and paper maps.

If we drove all the way to Dallas just to buy an Easter dress / We’d take along a Rand McNally, stand in line to pay for gas / God knows that shifting gears ain’t what it used to be / I learned to drive that 55 just like a queen, three on a tree,” Lambert sings to close the first verse. Her melody is steady and pure. This is the sort of song you imagine her singing with an acoustic on her lap from a stool at the front of the stage.

‘Cause when everything is handed to you / It’s only worth as much as the time put in / It all just seemed so good the way we had it / Back before everything became automatic,” she adds to close the chorus.

Natalie Hemby and Nicolle Galyon helped her write this song, likely adding references the reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year might be too young to claim.

Some of her remember when observations may go over the heads of young country music fans, while others — like waiting your turn — may be simply dismissed by those who subscribe to a “now” lifestyle. ‘Automatic’ is a warm, mid-tempo country track that will resonate particularly well with those over 40. If they’re being honest, few younger than that will agree that her simpler way of life is easier (Although, the implied lessons would serve the greater population well).

Why Fans Will Love It: Well-written, nostalgic songs that pine for simpler days are always a hit.

Key Lyrics: “It all just seemed so good the way we had it / Back before everything became automatic”

Did You Know?: The current price of a payphone is $.50, while a stamp will set you back $.49. A 10-pack of Sony, 60 minute (30 on each side) cassettes (with the tab) will cost you $14.49 at Staples.

Listen to Miranda Lambert, ‘Automatic’

Next: Top Country Songs of 2014 (So Far)

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