Miranda Lambert - Palomino LP

$34.00 Sold out

Pickup currently unavailable at Appleton Store

For superstar Miranda Lambert, each of her seven consecutive No. 1 albums has presented a chance to explore a new theme while pushing herself across varying sonic landscapes. With the progressive 15-song album, Palomino, Lambert has crafted a record that explores the world and the people in it, seeking beauty and adventure all around.

A line from the first song written for the album perhaps sums up the project as a whole best: "there's always been a stranger in my soul / who loves a good goodbye and a good hello," she sings in "Tourist." On Palomino, her inner stranger travels lyrically from Fort Worth to the Mojave Desert; Battambang, Cambodia to Maine; the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield to the Rocky Mountains and beyond. In each destination and with every character met along the way, Lambert's freewheeling trek is a work of unbridled freedom and self-discovery without painful introspection.

Her first solo album since 2019's Grammy-winning Wildcard (despite a busy interim that included releasing the Grammy-nominated collaborative project The Marfa Tapes as well as Pistol Annies celebration Hell of a Holiday), Palomino opens with a slow build and a low-slung vibe on "Actin' Up," with the opening track serving as the first in a series of postcards from the road, images and moments, places seen and swallowed whole, characters you won't forget... It's all here in a brew of styles, sounds and wordplay that are absolutely Miranda.

Tapping longtime songwriting collaborators Luke Dick (Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves) and Jon Randall (Emmylou Harris, Dierks Bentley) to co-produce with her, Lambert once again pushes the envelope of what country music can contain. Whether the bump-and-grind thump of the one who can't be extinguished on "I'll Be Loving You," the skunk weed strut of Marfa sessions' revisited "Geraldene," the gorgeously hushed vintage bar-room heartbreak of "That's What Makes the Jukebox Play," or the sunny life code that informs the ever-curious songwriter on "Tourist," Lambert has fashioned a true song cycle, a journey of one woman questing for happiness and the folks she meets along the way.

There's the go-lightly acousticness that suggests ‘80s Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on "Pursuit of Happiness," the breezy Beyoncé-invoking Wild West truth of "If I Was A Cowboy" featuring the legendary Al Perkins on steel and the funky Deee-Lite meets Creedence Clearwater Revival trip down the Cumberland River on "Music City Queen" with the B-52s. The references tucked throughout the album – Little Feat's "Willin'," Bruce Hornsby and the Range's "Mandolin Rain," Emmylou Harris' "Roses in the Snow" – create a treasure hunt for music fans of all ages. For Lambert, raised on a healthy diet of Texas icons, classic and modern country, rock & roll and pop radio as a girl, it's how influences come together and pollinate each other that make Palomino so interesting and so fun.

It's that desire to taste it all, to explore the possibilities while sidestepping the statements and judgements that colors Palomino. And it's not all happy-go-lucky stuff, even if it feels that way. Yearning and driving through the night on the sweeping "Waxahachie," the tumbling "Strange" offers a more philosophical approach to being out of sorts. By "Carousel," the almost lullaby closer, we meet Elaina, a former circus highwire walker/trapeze artist living in Nacogdoches as a mother and wife. With the exhaled truth of how she came to leave the circus – "She fell so hard because he always let her fly / Till he left her heart suspended in a cotton candy sky..." – with a broken heart she couldn't heal, it speaks volumes about the multitude of lives most people contain.

For Lambert – and lovers of her wild-eyed country – Palomino is as much about the journey as the destination and the characters along the way.