Miranda Lambert Makes “Strange” Pick for Next Radio Single
Miranda Lambert has always had a strange relationship with country radio, to say the least. She’s the most awarded woman in country music history, and clearly a top tier performer of the last 20 years, but has only racked up four #1s at country radio over that time period.
Furthermore, Miranda Lambert’s singles commonly outperform on the consumption-based Billboard Hot Country Songs chart compared to the radio airplay charts, meaning an appeal for her music is there, it’s just not always represented on radio. Her last single “If I Was a Cowboy” stalled at #12 on radio, but got to #8 on Hot Country Songs. Her song “Tin Man” co-written with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall got to #15 on the Hot Country Songs chart, and was nominated for two Grammy Awards, and won the ACM Song of the Year. But it only got to #22 on the airplay charts.
Of course, that script is flipped for many male artists in country music, whose singles are artificially propped up by mainstream country radio. But that’s another story. What’s interesting here is that for the second single from her current album Palomino, Miranda Lambert chosen the song “Strange” co-written with Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby.
Extremely timely, the mid-tempo song delves head first into the unusual moments we’re all living through that have left many of us with unsettled feelings. Lines within the song such as, “Urban feels suburban, Main Street ain’t Main” and “Couple hundred dollars feels more like change” will immediately resonate with listeners, if radio adds it to the rotation and they actually hear it, of course.
One of the more country-sounding tracks from Palomino, the song looks to take that unusual uneasiness we’re all feeling, and alleviate it by reminding us all that sometimes all we need is a deep breath. But it’s this verse that makes the release of “Strange” to country radio extra delectable.
“Country don’t twang, rock ‘n’ roll ain’t loud
Every elevator only ever goes down
Everybody’s lookin’ for a little cheap fame, yeah
And times like these make me feel strange”
A lot of today’s mainstream country doesn’t twang. Career elevators do only seem to go down as artists age. And Tik-Tok stars like Walker Hayes are all the rage as country music sells its future for the sugar rush of today. Not exactly a protest song or even an especially pointed jab, it’s nonetheless gratifying to think these sentiments will find their way behind enemy lines and be played on mainstream country radio, even if “Strange” falters in the teens like it probably will.
Or maybe it won’t. Maybe it will do even better. We do all feel like we’re living in strange times, and the best of art reflects the time in which it is created. At least, when it’s given the opportunity to.
August 7, 2022 @ 8:59 am
me thinks she has a few more # 1s than that, but yes, still not near as many as she should. I was rooting for Waxahachie to get sent.
August 7, 2022 @ 9:07 am
As far as solo singles on radio, she only has four of them: “The House That Built Me,” “Heart Like Mine,” “Over You,” and “Bluebird.”
She does have some other #1’s like “Somethin’ Bad” with Carrie Underwood, which went #1 on Hot Country Songs, and a few “feat.” songs with Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, and that Elle King song. It is quite shocking how few #1s she has. That’s not a knock on Miranda. It’s just an illustration of the struggles she’s had at radio over the years.
August 7, 2022 @ 9:13 am
I think another reason her not having many #1 is because her label or management or whomever picks the wrong singles. Why Tequila Does wasn’t a single off Wildcard still baffles me???
August 7, 2022 @ 9:00 pm
I think that the singles from the Wildcard era were spot-on.
It All Comes Out in the Wash is one of the most underrated tracks in her entire discography, but still managed to break Top 15 at Country Radio and Hot Country Songs, while netting her a 15th Grammy nomination.
Bluebird went to #1 on Country Radio, #3 on Hot Country Songs, and was comfortably within the Top 40 on the all-genre Hot 100 for much of the late winter/early spring in 2020. Further, her 16th and 17th Grammy nominations resulted from that song.
Settling Down hit #6 on Country Radio and Hot Country Songs, and just missed the Top 40 of the Hot 100 (peaking at #41).
All three singles are at least gold-certified with the latter two going 2x platinum and platinum, respectively.
Wildcard was arguably her most successful album era to date and established her momentum for DAIDWGH’s monster chart run.
August 8, 2022 @ 8:25 am
I will have to respectfully disagree with the single choices. I think she could have had three #1s off this album if Sony had chose the right singles (which they never do).
Bluebird should have been the lead and we know that went #1. I think Tequila Does would have been a smash and easily went to #1. And I think Dark Bars might have had a shot given the success of BB & TD. And Dark Bars had song of the year potential and we could have had an award show moment with that song.
I honestly could care less about country radio but country radio is still here so lets at least try to get her number ones or release songs that maybe have awards potential. (And I’m sorry whoever made the decision for Wash to the be lead single should be fired!)
August 7, 2022 @ 12:22 pm
No I know, not a knock at all. I didn’t know if you were counting mediabase or billboard. I don’t listen to the radio anyways so idc 😂
August 7, 2022 @ 2:23 pm
Her airplay probably varies based on the area of the country the station is in. I’ve got four country presets on my car radio (FM, not SiriusXM, where I’ve got five more) and I can tell you If I Was a Cowboy was huge here in Vermont, and other songs like All Kinds of Kinds get a lot of spins in the “gold” rotations. I have a feeling that’s because this is a very politically “blue” area. That Tim McGraw single about being tired of left and right did very well here but stalled well outside the top 10 in more “traditional” country markets.
August 7, 2022 @ 9:11 am
When it comes to Miranda, I feel most of her singles are misses and her best songs are left as album tracks. Starting from “revolution” era they’ve always sent at least one dud to radio (with the exception of wildcard). Personally I love this song but based on how radio is responding to it and also songs taking close to a year to peak, I won’t be surprised if this is either dropped or no further singles are released from the album.
These are really strange times.
August 7, 2022 @ 9:12 am
I was pretty underwhelmed with Palomino. The only song I really liked was Carousel. Would love to hear that on country radio. The rest of songs just fell short for me. I love the Marfa Tapes so I will continue to listen to that.
August 7, 2022 @ 10:02 am
I also was underwhelmed. This might be a hot take, but I personally hate Jon Randall’s production work.
August 7, 2022 @ 10:18 am
I would have to go back and listen again to comment on the production overall but one song that I do remember was Country Money. I think that could have been a fun song if just produced straight up country instead all of the other stuff. The lyrics are fun but the production was bad!
August 9, 2022 @ 12:02 am
“This might be a hot take, but I personally hate Jon Randall’s production work.”
You might want to clean the gunk out of your ears or get a better device to listen to music on. Randall is a brilliant songwriter and producer.
August 8, 2022 @ 7:12 am
Dang, really? I think Pursuit of Happiness is one of her best songs.
August 7, 2022 @ 11:11 am
Sounds like country music talking about, you know, what people actually care about.
August 7, 2022 @ 1:15 pm
May be an unpopular opinion, but I think Miranda’s lack of success on the radio is a product of the time in which she was in the prime of her career. Miranda and Carrie were the only two women in the mid 2000s and early 2010s to get any radio play at all. Carrie did much better on radio, but her fan base was so much larger and her music was more “poppy” so it appealed more to main stream country radio. No other woman could get her foot in the door and I feel like country radio threw Miranda an occasional bone.
Glad to see those days behind us and female artists getting a fair shake now, but it might be too late for Miranda.
August 7, 2022 @ 5:39 pm
Would it have anything to do with her personality? Maybe people at the country Radio seminars find her personality unappealing and so she doesn’t get added to the rotation.
August 8, 2022 @ 7:13 am
If this is true, it’s funny because they definitely don’t do that to Jason Aldean or Jon Pardi, who radio folks say aren’t all that cool.
August 8, 2022 @ 8:20 am
But let’s not forget, the 2 people you mentioned are guys and society is more forgiving to guys.
August 7, 2022 @ 7:02 pm
Wow, Miranda has really packed on the pounds. It caught me off guard to see that.
August 7, 2022 @ 7:11 pm
Seems like Miranda Lambert is one of the biggest names in country right now male or female, and doesn’t need radio or number 1 hits to be successful. I’m sure “Strange” will also stall in the charts, but that’s because radio is an outdated form of media to gage one’s success.
August 7, 2022 @ 7:57 pm
It’s so weird to me to think that Luke Bryan and Jason al-can’t-spell-PBS-thinks-songwriterly-is-a-word-racist-inbred-probably-thinks-a-Volvo-is-part-of-woman’s-anatomy-wifebeater-dean are effectively on the way out, FGL is split up and Flake Shelton retired (still hasn’t been held accountable for old farts and jackasses)
But Miranda is still relevant
I never liked her at all during the bro-country era, partly because absolutely anything on country radio was part of the problem and I was still bitter than haggard and Jones weren’t getting so much as a throwback spin
I can tolerate her better now because the height of the bro-era has passed and there are fewer transient fans pissing themselves and spewing about how country music has to evolve
I think I’ll never be able to NOT associate Miranda with the 2012-2016 era of SCM rants and sexist country songs that were either uneducated redneck dude bros with too much bling or women who couldn’t shut up about being angry
But at least now I don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to write her off as another country interloper who deserves to be ignored
Honestly the end of the bro era and SCM rants (and the lack of constant teenagers and trolls arguing about evolution)
Has just left me with not a lot to say
In fact, frankly I stopped caring about country music when it became country music again
I’m never gonna like Jon Pardi more than Hank snow
I specifically WANT to listen to Gosdin Jones And haggard, plus lefty and locklin and tommy Collins
But I’m not upset by Jon Pardi the way I was upset about Luke Bryan
It’s weird to me to feel like the era of stupid farcethemusic twitterfails is essentially over as the fair weather fans moved on
I’m never gonna invest in current country music
But current country music isn’t attacking me
And that’s a huge difference
And honestly? Just not needing to care is huge
The SCM rants aren’t coming back because there aren’t as many bad songs to rant about nor moronic fans to argue about them
I always used to say something like ‘I don’t care if it’s pure country as long as it’s not stupid’
I don’t mind the current country stuff that’s going up the charts
I won’t buy it but I won’t be mad about it
It’s just weird for me to think we’re a decade past ‘old farts’ and the bros are rightfully being derided and the worst of it is behind us
For a while there was a new artist picking sides on the evolution issue and SCM had an article on it every week
The real culture war has settled down
And so have I
August 8, 2022 @ 2:07 pm
Blake’s worth over 100 million. His gorgeous music icon wife Gwen Stefani is worth over 150 million. Blake doesn’t need paid for music awards like some others do or phony paid for positive music reviews by “so called” music critics. 😂He’s days of having hit songs aren’t over yet. He’s still very relevant. Blake’s very happy in his personal life. I would bet Blake would care less what you comment here because he’s living his best life in Oklahoma and LA with his family.🤣😂 Jealous much.😂
August 7, 2022 @ 8:41 pm
And here my friends is the definition of old farts and jackass. Every time. Living proof.
August 7, 2022 @ 8:52 pm
Actin’ Up did well as a promotional single on SiriusXM, and Miranda gets a lot of play from New England stations as well (like another commenter pointed out). I’m not sure why radio has never fully warmed to her. Regardless, she’s one of the biggest touring acts in all of country music right now, is about to break ground on a Vegas residency, and has close to 9 million monthly listeners on Spotify, which are smashing numbers for a country artist.
And Palomino is a lock for Country Album of the Year at the Grammys.
August 8, 2022 @ 4:20 pm
Why would it be a lock? Realistically there are country albums that are as good or better (American Heartbreak and 29). Both Miranda and Maren have received similar reviews. Meta critic scores of 83 and 81. Maren has all new material and Hummingbird is lovely. Miranda has 3 songs from an album from last year and a cover. That is purely for streaming and it was a smart move. Both albums are off BB top 200 but commercial sales are never a factor, it seems, in nominations. Both women are on the same label (as is Luke Combs). So shouldn’t the newer artists get a chance for this platform? If Palomino was off the charts good and original I’d say yes. But it’s not. And shes not one of the biggest touring acts in country right now. She co-headline her tour and didn’t have that many dates. Jury is out on Vegas but that should be a good venue for her There are fabulous women out there and it’s their time.
August 8, 2022 @ 6:32 pm
I would hope Carly Pearce is a lock for 29. She deserves the Grammy. Also Miranda is getting all her streams from that awful Drunk song she has with Elle King. Not from her country songs on her new album. That’s not even a country song. It’s definitely time for other female cm artists to win awards.
August 7, 2022 @ 9:11 pm
A video of Miranda walking down a dirt road. But, hey, where’s her can of- um-“accelerant”?
August 7, 2022 @ 9:14 pm
I love the whole Palomino album. And Miranda always tries to keep it country. She can sing anything and it sounds great. She is the Country Queen. And I like all the songs but Actin up is a fun song . I listen to it all the time. She seems very happy now and it shows in her music. Great job Miranda keep the hits coming!!
August 7, 2022 @ 11:47 pm
It was one of the ones that stood out to me when I finally got to give her album a listen recently. Hope it does well! She’s one of my favorite artists.
August 8, 2022 @ 6:14 am
Miranda has been seemingly floundering in both life and music over the last few years. When she released The Weight of These Wings it seemed she would settle into a more country zone in her latter career, but when it failed to generate her usual sales it seemed she panicked. Her output since has not been very good.Miranda has a beautiful instantly recognizable voice. Hopefully she will settle into a good end of career path and stop trying to compete with the next big thing.
August 8, 2022 @ 7:00 am
I think Miranda has hit a winner with “Strange,” as its lyrics seem eerily accurate in describing our nonpareil (at least in my 69 years on this mortal coil) times.
August 8, 2022 @ 8:37 am
Good song. Great artist.
August 8, 2022 @ 1:45 pm
There is no other female country music artist in the past 15 years that has been more unfairly promoted and given more paid for country music awards than overrated Miranda Lambert. Miranda has been given so much by the Nashville entertainment community when they’re far more talented female cm vocalists and live entertainers. To me Miranda’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard. She didn’t even write her only 2 big hit singles THTBM and MBH. She’s a boring live entertainer. If this new song doesn’t do well than Miranda deserves it not to.
August 8, 2022 @ 4:01 pm
It’s hilarious when the Shefani trolls attack. LOL
August 8, 2022 @ 7:56 pm
That what that is LOL. I was wondering why you would take the time to comment on an article of an artist you don’t like. Why would they do that? Jealousy?
August 8, 2022 @ 1:53 pm
I love the song Strange. My favorite off the album is Geraldine. I kind of like just about everything on the album. Actin Up is so fun. Right now I’ve really been listening to Music City Queen, it is for sure a fun song.
August 8, 2022 @ 4:29 pm
“Career elevators do only seem to go down as artists age. And Tik-Tok stars like Walker Hayes are all the rage as country music sells its future for the sugar rush of today.”
I mean, these statements contradict a little when you consider that Walker Hayes is 42 and has been in Country for more than a decade, and is at the peak of his career right now. Not that his music is any good, but it seems like people who play the Nashville game can still have later career peaks.
August 14, 2022 @ 10:04 am
I love all of her music , she can’t make a bad song in my opinion!! So many great songs on her new album❤️
August 14, 2022 @ 10:06 am
I love all of her music , she can’t make a bad song in my opinion!! So many great songs on her new album❤️ I would love to see her live Waxahachie Is one of my favorites
August 29, 2022 @ 7:56 am
What a great track