First off, I should say that I’m a huge Ran (Miranda) fan, and have been since “Gunpowder & Lead”. I own all of Lambert’s albums, including her latest, Platinum. Personally, I love Platinum and I think that it actually proves to be a better evolution/follow-up to Lambert’s 3rd record Revolution than her 4th record, Four The Record. Platinum as a whole is an excellent album, but sadly the singles haven’t been that great or successful.
Lambert’s Platinum era started out well, with lead single “Automatic” becoming a hit, peaking at #3 on the charts and garnering awards for Song of the Year at the ACMs, Single of the Year at the CMAs, and Female Video at the CMT awards. Her second single, “Somethin’ Bad”, the smash girl-power infused collaboration with Carrie Underwood, peaked at #7, and was Lambert’s last Top 10 hit from the record, as of this date. The other two singles, “Little Red Wagon” and “Smokin’ and Drinkin’ peaked, respectively, at #16 and #33. It is quite clear that we’ve come to the end of the Platinum era, with Miranda already writing for another record. “Bathroom Sink” is the single they’ve chosen to end out the era, and an unarguable risky one at that. Evidently Lambert and her team have decided to stop trying to get radio play and just released the song she wanted to. So here we are with “Bathroom Sink” as the 5th and, most likely, last single from Platinum.
I have to admit that up until recently, I wasn’t a fan of the song. As I said before, I adore Miranda and love Platinum, and I have yet to come across a Miranda song that I don’t like, but that said, “Bathroom Sink” was one of the less liked ones as far as I was concerned. For me it was outshined by “Platinum”, “Automatic”, “Little Red Wagon”, “Priscilla”, and “Girls”. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it was a good song, but more that compared to the other tracks on the record, I felt it was one of the weaker ones; I didn’t really connect to it at first.
After listening to it a few times after I bought the album, I didn’t give the song another listen, preferring the rest of the record, up until just recently. When I was assigned this single review, I took another listen and felt the same way: Good song, nice message, but still iffy on it. I think for me, it was the production that really got in the way of my being totally on board with this single. This review was due the Tuesday before the CMAs (which was this Wednesday), but due to scheduling issues, it was pushed to Friday. I had my review all written up and ready to go… until I watched the CMAs featuring Lambert’s performance of the song. After watching her live performance, being able to see her emotional delivery, my views of the song changed. That was the little push I needed to get totally on board for this song. Watching her sing it live helped me to feel more connected to the song. I ended up rewriting this review, and this is the result.
The majority of the songs on Platinum all feature a fuller, more polished production, and “Bathroom Sink” is no exception. It is one of the heavier tracks, production wise, on the record, featuring electric guitars and drums. The pace of the song is odd considering the fact that it is on the rockier side. You’d think it would be faster with more energy, and there are some places in the song where, instrumentally, it has more energy, but for the most part it’s on the slower side. That was my main issue with the song all along, the fact that the production is a bit too heavy. It doesn’t seem to fit the song perfectly. But it does grow on you after a while, and it sounds a lot better live!
Written by Lambert herself, the song finds a woman standing at her bathroom sink, looking into the mirror and seeing all the flaws and things she hates about herself. It’s a song that, as girls and women, we can totally relate to. I mean how many times to we do the very same thing each day? We all have things we don’t like about ourselves, concerning our appearance and our personality/mental conversation.
Lambert opens with what could be anyone’s daily routine, “Putting on my makeup/ putting off the hard stuff/ hoping that it passes/ fake smile and eyelashes/ I wash my hands and try not to think or dirty up my bathroom sink,” and then goes into another all too familiar occurrence for most of us, “I’m at it again with mama/ everybody’s so tired of the drama/ we’re still fighting like I’m 16 and I guess we always will be.” The chorus, “It’s amazing the amount of rejection that I see/ in my reflection/ and I can’t get out of the way/ I’m looking forward to the girl I wanna be/ But regret has got a way of staring me right in the face/ so I try not to waste too much time at the bathroom sink,” is one that speaks to just about every female’s soul, as it hits home for most of us having the same mental conversation with ourselves.
“Bathroom Sink” turns out to be an incredibly personal and vulnerable song, one that is still quite unexpected from the tough Texas firebrand. Miranda’s vocals are on point as usual, but maybe even more on point than usual at the same time. All the emotion comes from Miranda’s delivery of the song. She sings it with a touch of frustration and self-disgust, which makes it all the more relatable. Lambert ends the song on a more upbeat, resolved note, with “I pray as I get ready/ for God to make me steady/ and I thank Him for His patience/ and I take my medication/ and bless this day and all it brings/ and I clean up the bathroom sink.” This is one of the verses I can relate to the most. It’s the perfect song for females, uniting us all with a common/relatable message.
With a genre recently full of songs about women being nothing but toys and pretty little objects for men to gawk at (and grope), it’s very refreshing to have a song that does the opposite. This is a song that paints a picture of a real woman, with all her insecurities and imperfections. One stanza in this song that rings particularly true is, “It all gets complicated/ and sometimes overrated/ glamour at its finest/ just means someone’s hiding/ from their own reality and the mirror at their bathroom sink.” A truer statement you can’t find on country music radio today.
I commend Lambert for always making the music she wants to make and sing the messages she wants to sing, regardless of what the current trends are. Will “Bathroom Sink” get airplay? Let’s face it, probably not a whole lot. But nevertheless, it’s a substantial song, one that female country fans will love or at least like.
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