Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Lambert talks about good, bad and ugly in new album

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Miranda Lambert performs on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Las Vegas.

PHOTO BY CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP Enlarge Image

Miranda Lambert performs on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Las Vegas.

NASHVILLE -- Miranda Lambert has learned something about human nature since becoming one of country music's most identifiable stars.

"People are very, very mean," she said of the tabloids that have made sport of her life, her looks and her marriage since her husband, Blake Shelton, joined NBC's musical competition The Voice as a celebrity coach.

Lambert's wild ride over the last two years is all over her ambitious, sprawling new album, Platinum. The 30-year-old lays bare her life in many ways on songs that examine the darker aspects of celebrity, and she shows the tabloids have been getting everything wrong.

'People are very, very mean'

-- Miranda Lambert

"There are people who, literally, their only job is to make other people miserable, and that's a terrible way to live your life," said Lambert, the top nominee at Wednesday's CMT Music Awards. She also has a starring spot at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, which begins Thursday.

Lambert's multifaceted musical reaction to the gossip press helps make Platinum, out this week, her most diverse album yet. It heads in many directions musically, from the rock 'n' roll of Priscilla, Girls and Little Red Wagon to the singer-songwriter self-reflection of Bathroom Sink and Hard Staying Sober.

Priscilla takes on the tabloids directly. In the song, Lambert identifies with Priscilla Presley and the troubles she must have experienced in her life with Elvis. The song resulted from a catch-up session between Lambert and songwriter Natalie Hemby as Lambert gathered material for Platinum.

"When I get to write with her, I think she just lets her hair down," Hemby said. "She doesn't have to be Miranda. I've known her before she was big and famous... and I asked how she was doing. She said, 'According to the press I'm pregnant or I'm fat or I'm getting divorced.' It just went on and on and I just kind of laughed and said, 'Well, then you must be really successful.' "

Lambert said she's learning to live with all the attention. Her new trim look is a result of getting control of her emotions, she said, and not some darker reason. She simply no longer turns to corn dogs for solace when she reads an upsetting headline.

Tabloids aren't the only topic on Platinum. There is plenty of joy and sass, just as there is in her life. She shows a beau the door in traditional country style on All That's Left, featuring the Time Jumpers; examines her love of flea markets and her hatred of getting older on songs with titles that can't be reprinted; and teams up with Carrie Underwood for the powerhouse anthem Somethin' Bad.

In the end, the album is as overstuffed as her life.

"Loretta Lynn said you've got to live a life in order to sing about it," Lambert said. "That's what I'm doing. The good, the bad and the ugly is on this record. It's who I am."

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 3, 2014 C9

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