Miranda Lambert is never one to follow trends. She goes against the grain, setting her own pace and carving out her own path. Such is the way with her brand new single "Automatic," the lead-in to her forthcoming fifth studio album. Autobiographical in nature, the midtempo entry is a fond glance "back before everything become automatic" and samples sounds from her previous work.
In the midst of ever-advancing techonology and social media, this track might find many millennials (like myself) reminscing about the good old days before computers, email and texting. Her approach could come off a little stilted, but if you examine the lyrics a bit, she's simply comenting on the state of our world and bringing that into a new generation.
"It all seems good the way we had it," she coos on the chorus. In the verses, perfectly drapped around a memorable hook, she recalls recording radio on cassettes, payphones, standing in lines to pay for gas and changing gears in her stick-shift car.
It's not your typical lead single offering. In fact, it's so unconventional that it absolutely makes sense. Coming off such singles as "Baggage Claim," "Fastest Girl In Town" and "Mama's Broken Heart," "Automatic" is a nice change of pace. She sings the lyrics with conviction, her voice breaking over the past. It is done in a way that is not particularly melancholy but as a human observation over our culture.
Production wise, it isn't polluted with hip-hop beats or the go-to drum track. She peppers the song with just enough rhythm and guitar to enhance the story, seemingly stepping back in time to her Kerosene and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend days. Lodged within the presentation, you can hear echoes of "Famous In A Small Town" and "Greyhound Bound For Nowhere."