Miranda Lambert, "Platinum" (RCA)
In the past, this country superstar has been ferocious but not light, a renegade but not urbane. On her vivacious, clever and slickly rowdy new album, though, Lambert is finally becoming a sophisticated radical, a wry country feminist and an artist learning to experiment widely but also with less abrasion. Her characters here are complex, self-confident and self-lacerating all at once, and completely knowing and in on the joke. Lambert sings plainly about the gap between image and reality, about how people — women, especially — lie on the outside just to keep the inside whole. Thanks to frisky production touching on rockabilly, 1950s rock, Western swing, arena rock and more, she sounds more vocally alive and nimble than ever.
jon caramanica, New York Times
Taylor McFerrin, Bobby's oldest child, is serving up a jazzy, soulful feast on his "Early Riser," with help from Robert Glasper, Thundercat, Emily King and his dad. At NPR's First Listen: http://tinyurl.com/ksxo6pb