The reigning CMA female vocalist of the year hit a creative peak with her 2011 release, “Four the Record,” which proved she had more in her
arsenal than guns-blazing revenge tales. The Texas spitfire’s fifth album, “Platinum,” is a worthy follow-up; Lambert wrote or co-wrote half of the album’s 16 tracks, which bounce from humid honky tonk to glossy arena stage to rustic front porch with sass and ease.
Whether belting to the back row on the sweetly cranky nostalgia anthem, “Automatic,” waxing playful in the title track, on which she giggles, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you blonder,” or going a few rounds with her own brutal inner critic on the driving “Bathroom Sink,” Lambert does something unique among her peers swimming in the same Nashville songwriter pool, simply by sounding distinctly like herself.
She also invited a few choice friends to the party. The Time Jumpers help Lambert breezily swing through “All That’s Left.” The always welcome members of Little Big Town lend their trademark harmonies to the hazy “Smokin’ and Drinkin’.” And fellow powerhouse Carrie Underwood helps Lambert get into “Somethin’ Bad,” the pair stomping their feet and lifting their voices with queen bee swagger. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Smokin’ and Drinkin’ ”
Miranda Lambert plays the Xfinity Center Sept. 6.