NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The good news? Miranda Lambert has completed her much anticipated, though somewhat overdue, fifth album. The bad news? You have to wait until June 3 for "Platinum," a full two years and eight months since her last LP.
Why the wait? Lambert released an album with her Pistol Annies trio in 2013 and extended her tour. She also decided she was at a place in her career where she'd earned the time to fulfill her entire creative vision, and it simply took time.
"From the day you kinda go I need to start looking for songs and writing songs, it feels like no matter how much time you have, you're rushed," Lambert said. "And so I didn't want to rush it at all. To me it's all about timing and making sure that you can feel like you can finally sit there and go, OK, the album's done, and never have a moment where you go, I wish we could change that or I wish we had a different song."
An early listen reveals the singer's most ambitious album yet. At 16 songs, "Platinum" sprawls across genre and style and expands on her already adventurous sense of song choice. She says everyone urged her to trim a few songs and conform to the usual country conventions.
"Now when you listen to it as a whole, what do you take off?" she asked.
The album paints a picture of Lambert's life as she reaches 30. She wrote or co-wrote eight songs and chose the others based on how they reflected her personality or world view.
The first single, "Automatic," suggests returning to a slower time and way of thinking. She contemplates her self-image in "Bathroom Mirror," takes on tabloid scrutiny in "Priscilla" and teams up with several guests on songs that underscore her range and willingness to experiment.
The collaboration with Carrie Underwood on "Something Bad" brings together two of country's most popular stars.
"We're really rocking in country music and we're coming together as a force," Lambert said. "To me, like, if you're sitting on the front row, you might want to scoot back. It's a force. It just feels exciting to me. I'm ready to rock."
Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott.