"Automatic" sonically comes across with a happy, breezy pop-country sound. The melody is catchy and easy to sing to. It isn't traditional country, but its a nice blend of modern and classic sounds to create a tone that is distinctively country and distinctively contemporary. Miranda has always been a master at walking that line, and this song is no different. Miranda's sound is unique and fresh, we could use more singers with her brand of fiery ambition mixed with dedication to tradition.
Lyrically, this song is anything but the happy picture painted by the musical sound. It isn't a sad or angry song per se, but the criticisms of the modern world are harsh and very real. One might suspect a title like "Automatic" would be about a gun or a car, but Miranda is going much deeper than that. It is a calling out of the instant gratification generation. The song takes on the depending on technology and modern vices that plagues us today. It even questions the current trend of divorce being the quick fix to marital issues.
The line that really pops out at me is in the chorus and states "when everything is handed to you, its all only worth the time that you put in". That hits home for a lot of people. How many of us flip out when we lose cell phone service, or when the card reader at the gas station is out and we have to go wait in line? Things our parents and grandparents never even dreamed of are the norm for us, but we act like we can't survive without these things. I would go so far as to make this about music as well. When you get half-ass a song and make millions of dollars on a trivial pop-country mess, its really only worth the time you put in. The money will come and go, but that sense of satisfaction from creating something amazing will last forever. I believe Miranda knows this first hand, as she has written some beautiful songs over the years.
"Automatic" is just the first single, but it certainly captured my attention. I always look forward to Miranda's next release, and this one is no different. Miranda Lambert may be the best thing mainstream country has going for it right now. She can sing, write, play, she is gorgeous, she is sweet and funny, and she is modest about her level of fame and success. She keeps country moving forward with new ideas and fresh sounds, but keep one finger on the history and traditions of our great genre. What more could you ask for? "Automatic" is a solid country single and should be a big hit. Hopefully it won't be a long wait until we get to hear more music from Miranda.