45 Best Albums of 2014 So Far

The best rock, hip-hop, EDM and country of this year's first half

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Miranda Lambert, 'Platinum'
Courtesy of RCA Records Nashville.44/45

Miranda Lambert, 'Platinum'

"Priscilla," as elsewhere on Miranda Lambert's fifth LP, takes a cheeky view of her ascent to country music Queen Bee. But mostly it shows how Lambert earned her throne: by singing top-shelf songs in the voice of a woman getting real. Listening to her records is like eavesdropping in a hair salon. The title track is near-literally that, a brassy set of punch lines comparing hair color with record sales and declaring, "What doesn't kill you only makes you blonder."

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