Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Miranda Lambert: Palomino [Vanner/RCA, 2022]
I hope those who climbed on her fanbase circa 2005's "Kerosene" imagining that Miranda was the kind of gal who'd set a guy's house on fire have outgrown their touching belief in self-expression. If not, however, this 15-track exercise in Nashville bad girldom should do the trick. In utterly indelible songs of highly credible spunk, the TX-to-TN woman who spent post-lockdown telling the press how the domestic intimacy imposed by Covid firmed up her impulsive marriage to an NYC cop tells how one rootless heroine after another works variations on wanderlust and sexual autonomy and acting up and feeling strange and country money and rolling down the river and actual stabs at actual stability. True, these songs are naught more than skillful entertainments and proud of it. But let them be that and that alone and they're guaranteed to enlarge. A