Miranda Lambert – Wildcard
Release date: 11/1
It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who remotely knows me that this record is my most anticipated of the month. Miranda is my spirit animal (person?). Whatever you want to call her, she is flat out amazing.
This album was previewed as her mixing a New York rock feel with her southern roots that we all know and love. Simply put, she’s gritty but sweet, and what more could you expect?
“It All Comes Out In the Wash” was the first treat, and is pure country storytelling with a list of all the things we know that suck, and then perfectly shrugging it all off . The message is perfection on the scale of “relatability”.
But “Locomotive” knocks you out as the follow-up track. I don’t think we’ve been rocked out by this chick this much since “Kerosene” which, according to the little articles I’ve caught in the lead up, is what she was channeling on this album. This is excitement and southern grind at its finest, mixed with some intense production that messes with your ears just right.
But really, it’s “Mess with My Head” that got me. This is the one that made me sit up and realize that Miranda was about to drop some power with this new album and where I got the first inkling she was bringing my cities together. Talk about a rock tune that girls are going to angry-sing at the boys that let them down.
“Bluebird” reminds us of the soft side where Miranda sings a song that your heart just outpours for. Did that sentence make sense? Probably not, but that’s okay because this song makes sense out of life in ways I never can.
I’ve been trying to figure out the release strategy on this album the entire time, because we’re only halfway through the preview tracks. Maren Morris, equally my country-rock queen, joins Lambert for a new duet about bad girls in “Way Too Pretty for Prison.” Neither woman is known for a gentle, beautiful voice, which makes them a great pair in the sisterly grit that each can bring to the table.
“Pretty Bitchin’” and “Tequila Does” are all classic Miranda and a perfect build up to the final release. I mean, you’ve got great wordplay on the first and drinking on the second. Miranda continues to understand us in ways we didn’t know we even needed. Seven songs as a preview leaves little to the imagination of a final album, but who cares—you know I’m going to be drowning in this one either way, y’all.
Other 11/1 releases:
Lindstrom – On A Clear Day I Can See You Forever
Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15: Travelin’ Thru
Luke Combs – What You See Is What You Get
Release date: 11/8
There was part of me that was pretty convinced this must be Luke Comb’s debut album, because he couldn’t possibly already be on a sophomore album. But, as they say—as you get older, time passes faster, and here we are. Number Two on deck.
The first five tracks were actually released on an EP earlier this year, appropriately titled The Prequel. This included the great sing-along song, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and hey—don’t fault Luke for his honestly.
Here’s why I’ve grown to love Luke Combs—he’s that old-school country boy that everyone seems to have been crying for in the midst of bro-country, but he’s still so much fun. He can break your heart, then love on you and make you feel like the most amazing woman in the world.
Case in point: “Refrigerator Door” calls you back home in understanding, and then breaks your heart with “Even Though I’m Leaving.” But you can’t stay mad because of the sweetness he shows. You feel special all over again with “Lovin’ On You.” Then you can kick back and drink together while he sings you away with “Moon Over Mexico.” (Like how I just tied together a whole EP?)
Okay, so we did get two more previews for the album. Brooks & Dunn join with their own classic country feel in “1, 2 Many” that gets you ready to two-step away. And then, as one more pull-in, we get the title track, “What You See Is What You Get.” If you needed an intro to Luke, I’d venture to say this is it. It’s a classic country boy anthem for sure, and gets you ready to hear everything and anything this guy will have to say on the new album.
Other 11/8 releases:
Taylor Hawkins – Get the Money
Kele – 2042
Lady Antebellum – Ocean
Release date: 11/15
I promise I didn’t intend on an all-country month, but alas, there are so many artists putting out great new country music right now!
Lady A took some time to do some individual projects (Hillary’s gospel album will have you feeling some kind of way y’all), and they’ve reconvened for their eighth (EIGHTH??) album, and the writer list alone is astounding. If you take a look at the Wikipedia credits on this one, the collection is varied—no one takes full credit for everything on here, and the co-writers are the stuff of country dreams.
“What If I Never Get Over You” was the first single, and is heartbreaking to levels that I thought “Need You Now” could only achieve. This is so deeply personal, and when you hear that Ryan Hurd wrote it based on the imagined feeling that Maren Morris left him, you just start praying they never separate.
“Ocean” has been the only other hint we’ve gotten here, and honestly, it’s enough. Look, we know this group, and we know how good they are. This album is going to be quality no matter how you slice it, and it’s a sound your ears are going to love.
Other 11/15 releases:
Celine Dion – Courage
Lil Peep – Everybody’s Everything
Coldplay – Everyday Life
Release date: 11/22
See? I broke the country cycle!
I have heard someone describe the new Coldplay tracks by saying, “I don’t know exactly what they’re trying to do here, but wow, it is going to be something else.”
This is slated to be a double album, subtitled Sunrise and Sunset. I don’t know necessarily what the significance of that is, but I am ready to find out. This is a worldwide band, in that their style seems to be transcendent across cultures, and it makes for an exciting, unexpected release that you can anticipate no matter what level of fan you are (and honestly, I’ve never seen myself as a big one).
Case in point: “Orphans” is such a eclectic mix, starting with a chorus of vocals and followed by electric beats out of another world to get things moving. So yes, you’re going to dance, and you’re going to feel something with the harmonies of the world around you.
“Arabesque” was delivered on the same day, and offers up a little more home feel, but then mixes in this… how can I put it? This song sounds like New Orleans on the streets, with horns blaring to an echo as they move down, and a guitar strumming along to keep the beat. It’s unlike anything I’ve heard recorded, only experienced live.
The last preview we get is “Everyday Life.” This is the one that will bring you to tears, and Chris Martin sings a very sad but understandable song about the way the world is.
I’m not sure how it will all piece together, but we have to believe that a new Coldplay album is going to be something to hear for sure.
Other 11/22 releases:
Beck – Hyperspace
The Who – Who