Miranda Lambert has seemingly spoiled critics like myself with her single choices this past year. From the fantastic attitude laden “White Liar” to the brilliant and emotional “The House That Built Me,” we’ve become accustomed to superb artistry from Miranda and almost expect a masterpiece each time she releases a new single. It’s because of that fact that the lead single off her upcoming album is such a disappointment.
Before I begin my ranting and venting about the song’s disappointments, let me first praise “Baggage Claim” on the one thing it got right. The production on this song is one of the most unique to hit country radio this year. The excellent acoustic strumming provides for a funky sound which is only enhanced by stellar guitar riffs and some Little Big Town-esque hand clapping. A production as unique as this should only be attempted by certain artists and Miranda Lambert is definitely one of those and she pulls it off.
Unfortunately, that ear-pleasing production is paired with an unclear set of lyrics that revolve around a unique (and I don’t mean that in a nice way) metaphor about a baggage claim. I think this song is about Miranda’s character telling her man that he has too many problems (“baggage”) for her to deal with so she’s going to leave them for him to take care of “at the conveyor belt” (of course!). But I should warn you and say that I shouldn’t be quoted on my interpretation of the song because the lyrics are too vague and, at times, too scattered to decipher. Despite the strange metaphor and lyrics, I must admit that I have been walking around singing “come and get it” ever since I heard the song. That has to count for something, right?
Lucky for “Baggage Claim,” it’s being delivered with plenty of attitude and sass, something that Miranda has perfected, but even the vocal seems a bit strange to me. I’m not sure if the producer had too much fun with the vocal effects or if the unfamiliar tone of Lambert’s voice was intentional, but it does nothing for me and it certainly does nothing for an already disastrous song.
Thankfully, Miranda has a track record of releasing sketchy songs as lead off singles (“Me and Charlie Talking,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Dead Flowers”) so that instills hope in me that Four the Record will include stronger material. But for now, “Baggage Claim” is an unusual stumble from one of the genre’s most consistent artists.