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Bluebird by Miranda Lambert on iTunes

Editors' Notes In the midst of writing his seventh album Wildcard Miranda Lambert paused. "I took the first long stretch I've ever had in my entire career since I was 17," she tells Apple Music. "Finally, you realize how much you need a breath." During that break, the country star made some major life changes, and surprised the world by announcing that she was secretly getting married and moving part-time to New York City ̵

1; a switch she says revitalized her creative energy and breathed new life into her sound. "Oddly enough, on the seventh solo album, I feel I approached it more like my first album than any other record I've made," she says.

In many ways, Wildcard feels like a new beginning. It's full of frenetic, uptempo rock ("Locomotive"), propulsion pop ("Mess With My Head") and clear eyes of self ("It All Comes Out in the Wash"). The new edge is partly a reflection of producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Zac Brown Band), who she works for the first time here after years with Frank Liddell. Lambert says it was time to mix it up: "Land is what I do, it's who I am … but I love rock & # 39; n & # 39; roll. "

Her country followers will enjoy" Way Too Pretty for Prison, "a deliciously smart breakup song where Lambert and Maren Morris fantasize about killing an ex before finally deciding prison sounds unattractive (not enough guys , beauty salons, or Chardonnay.) And on "Pretty Bitchin & # 39 ;," a similar undulating broadcast, she rolls out a series of spots – good wine, a new guitar, a closed air stream – and offers no excuses to enjoy her success in a world that is often unfriendly to female entertainers. "I use what I do ot / I don't let it go to waste," she sings with the relentless air of someone who has tolerated their fair share of tabloid headlines. is about winning despite all that: "I'm pretty from behind / Kinda pretty in the face / I hate to admit it / But that didn't stop me, did it?"

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