When it comes to Miranda Lambert, I’ve been more critical of her than other critics. While I didn’t review her 2014 album Platinum on the site, I did give it a listen and I was puzzled as to why it was getting so much praise. Some went as far to say it’s the best country album of the year. While I didn’t think it was a bad album, it certainly wasn’t great and it was ridiculous to call it the best of the year (a contender in the mainstream scene, sure). It was just way too bloated in length and there were several songs that just didn’t need to be on it. On top of that Lambert showed her usual Jekyll and Hyde look with her music. Some of the songs were great country music, while the rest was the pop/rock oriented with themes she has done to death (cheating men, showing violence towards these men). When Miranda performs a truly well-written song like “The House That Built Me,” that’s when I can enjoy her. That’s what I want to hear more from her. No more train wrecks like “Somethin’ Bad” or the forgettable “Little Red Wagon.” In other words, Miranda is capable of more, therefore I expect the best.
When I heard Lambert made a jingle for a Ram Truck commercial called “Roots and Wings,” I sought out and I couldn’t believe how country it was. I expected a pop/rock jam that almost every stupid car commercial plays. While I enjoyed the jingle, I found it sad that something actually good from her would be reduced to a crummy commercial. Luckily, the people at Ram Truck and Team Lambert figured out that a lot of people would love to hear a full version of this song and they finally delivered that to us. So today I can finally review “Roots and Wings,” the entire version of it. After giving it multiple listens, this is the side of Miranda I like and enjoy listening to. The song starts out with a twangy guitar that sets a very easy-going tone. It really puts the listener in a good place immediately and draws you in. In other words, this is country music. It’s amazing how country music fans want to hear country music, huh?
The song itself is about a woman getting roots from her father and wings from her mother. The father instilled in her the sense of family and love and to always remember what life is truly about. The mother instilled in her a sense of wonder and not being afraid to go chase after her dreams. In other words, she will always remember where she came from, but to also have the courage to leave your comfort zone to accomplish your goals in life. It’s a wonderful message that I’m sure all parents would like to instill into their own children. Lambert’s vocals in this song are fantastic throughout and do a great job telling the story being told. She also avoids the excessive twang that seems to creep up in her songs occasionally. I know she has a naturally twangy voice, but sometimes I feel like she forces it too much in her songs. She has a dynamic voice and she needs to let it shine in every song like she does in this one.
There’s been no indication that “Roots and Wings” will be released as a single to radio, but I’m certainly hoping it does. And why not? It’s already got a lot of exposure via the Ram Trucks commercial and I’m sure they would help push it to the moon too. After all it gets more eyes on their trucks. I guarantee “Roots and Wings” would do better at radio than “Little Red Wagon.” This is a very relatable song to listeners that I think would be a favorite of many across the upcoming summer months. Most importantly it would bring a dose of quality music to country radio, which badly needs it. This is the kind of music I want to hear from Miranda all the time and there’s no reason she can’t deliver it all the time. I definitely recommend checking this song out. “Roots and Wings” is one of the best songs released in mainstream country this year.