Music Video Review: Miranda Lambert’s ‘Automatic’

In my blog post ‘Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic” Inharmonious with How You Order the Single,’ I commented on how the message of the song; yearning for the days of simpler times, like songs on cassette, was at odds with how the single was being promoted. As Miranda Lambert is an artist that I like, and one who I think has talent (and is a looker to boot), I wanted to go beyond just ribbing her about the song and video. I wanted to do a review of it on its own.

When I first heard the song my initial thought was ‘Isn’t Miranda, like, 28? What’s she doing yearning for the good old days?’ Lambert is actually 30 as of this writing and release; still young in my mind to be wistful for the days gone by. I did some research to see if the song was written by someone else who was of an older generation. Lambert did co-write the song with Nicolle Galyon and Natalie Hemby; both youngins themselves. I supposed it makes them wise beyond their years to have such an understanding of looking back at simpler times. I also think they’ve got a lot years of yearning ahead of them if their nostalgic at their ages.

I really did like the song’s overall message of appreciating what you have and how you get it. This is kind of like a softer version of Jason Aldean’s ‘That’s the Only Way I Know’: similar message; less rocking. Work hard. Don’t take for granted what you have just because it comes to you so much easier now. Really appreciate it, and appreciate having to work for something vs. cussing your patience. We all need to take some time out and really enjoy what we have; not just the gratification of it but the how and why behind that gratification.

I like that the song started out simple; Miranda’s guitar strumming being the only lead in. When the we go from just the guitar to the full instrumental, it doesn’t take anything away from song. It’s just enough to help move the song along without becoming so slick that the music itself distracts from the message the song is putting forth. The guitar remains the strong root through the whole tune. I can imagine that there are going to be a lot of pickers who will do their own stripped down versions of the song, which I would love to hear.

The visuals in the video keep it simple, too. It’s nice to see something that doesn’t have a lot of flash, staging, multiple quick cuts to it. The images all fit and make reference to the lyrics, and the images themselves are beautiful in their everydayness. Plus, I sure do love that truck.

For all it’s nostalgia though, I really am glad that today is today. Having come from the days of cassette tapes, not only for recording music but also for recording TV shows you might miss, I appreciate being able watch videos and listen to music on my computer or my phone. Though vinyl records do have a distinctive sound to them that I love, I am really grateful for the convenience of easier access to so many things. Because when that truck does break down it is a whole heck of a lot easier to call from the cab for help. 🙂

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