Single Review: Miranda Lambert, “Roots and Wings”

Miranda Lambert Roots and Wings

“Roots and Wings”
Miranda Lambert

Written by Miranda Lambert

That’s right. Miranda’s so much on her game right now that a song written for a truck commercial outclasses most of the competition.

This isn’t entirely unprecedented in country music.  Dottie West wrote “Country Sunshine” for Coca-Cola, and even though it became a signature hit for her, she still tweaked the lyrics for maximum product placement.

Lambert doesn’t go that far.  She just wrote a heartfelt country song that pays tribute to both of her parents: the dad who gave her roots, and the mom who gave her wings.   If there wasn’t a commercial accompanying it, “Roots and Wings” would just sound like a traditional country single.  I actually think it pulls off nostalgia better than “Automatic” did.

If there’s a real parallel here, it’s probably with Madonna’s Pepsi commercial in 1989, which featured “Like a Prayer” and was all about her formative years.   The Pepsi Cola was incidental, more about a product latching on to the essence of the artist than the artist selling out their art for a commercial.

Provided Lambert doesn’t release another video next week with burning crosses and stigmata, her endorsement deal with Ram should last as long as the memorable song that it has already produced.

Grade: B+


  1. Ugh, that Madonna video is the worst kind of race relations where it’s all about some white mythical figure saving minorities. Blech.

  2. No. “Smokin’ and Drinkin'” was just announced as her new single. Time will tell if a collaboration with Little Big Town can reverse her fortunes. “Somethin’ Bad” barely cracked the Airplay top ten and “Little Red Wagon” stalled at #16. They are two of her weakest singles. Even Miranda Lambert doesn’t have enough clout to get everything she releases to the upper regions of the Airplay chart.

  3. I will be surprised if “Smokin’ and Drinkin” does very well on radio. I would have loved to see her release “Bathroom Sink” or “All That’s Left” (or even “Two Rings Shy”) as a single. I think “Smokin’ and Drinkin” will sound very lethargic on the radio, and Little Big Town doesn’t really have the star power to elevate the song numbers-wise by their collaboration.

    Though I love Miranda, I’m almost always puzzled by the songs released as singles.

    On topic, though, I really like “Roots and Wings.”

  4. I’m starting to think that the Billboard overall country singles chart is the one worth watching. The Airplay chart is really starting to seem less relevant. “Girl Crush” has been number one on the overall chart for weeks while struggling to reach that level on the airplay chart.

    I love this new song by Miranda. It’s good.

    However, I still don’t get why she chooses the album tracks she does. In my opinion that title track from Platinum could be a bona-fide crossover hit. I think it could be big on pop radio too. I don’t know why she doesn’t release it as a single!

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