• Muzik First


In each of her seven consecutive No. 1 albums, Miranda Lambert 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 its people, seeking beauty and adventure all around. 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." "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. 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 country music. 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 the "Marfa Sessions" revisit "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 an excellent song cycle, a journey of one woman questing for happiness and the folks she meets along the way.