Photo: Becky Fluke

Miranda Lambert – “We Should Be Friends” (Singles Going Steady)

There's a sense of inclusion and camaraderie here that only the best crowd-pleasers can pull off without pandering.

Steve Horowitz: This song and video give one a warm feeling inside. Lambert’s friendliness extends to all: young, old, different races, the opposite sex, etc. A beauty shop treatment and a cold drink make one feel good. It’s cheap therapy! Who could argue with that. Lambert uses bouncy musical rhythms, no heavy statements and a couple of sly winks about her bad reputation to show that life itself is worthwhile if one can just kick back and enjoy it with a couple of like-minded friends. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Miranda Lambert has a lot of charm, and it goes a long way toward making “We Should Be Friends” palatable. It’s not too gripping of a song, but it’s got a good heart, following Lambert as she befriends a ragtag group of people who have too much fun to worry about being polished and perfect. There’s something healthy about it, down-to-earth without having to try too hard, all-inclusive in its simplicity. No barriers were shattered here, but as pop-country goes, this is the kind of song that should show up more often. [7/10]

Andrew Paschal: Lambert’s candid personality has often been instrumental in helping to differentiate her music from the rest of the country-rock pack. Here she recites a litany of bad habits and crummy situations that she hopes to relate to the listener over, but through these forced appeals the song ends up feeling superficial and even a bit disingenuous. Finding common ground is great, but here those banal commonalities serve mostly as a feel-good cover for much more interesting human differences. [5/10]

Mike Schiller: I spent a good chunk of my college years frequenting a country bar, and this song is every good thing about that bar rolled up into a tidy three minutes. “We Should Be Friends” is exactly the sort of song that would start people dancing, that would get total strangers staring at each other and singing the “we should be friends” kicker to every couplet in Lambert’s thick-as-honey southern drawl, that would get a smile out of even the most cynical of patrons. There’s a sense of inclusion and camaraderie here that only the best crowd-pleasers can pull off without pandering. Beer cans as curlers is a nice touch. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: A bit generic, even for contemporary pop country, right down to the “I like regular folks who drink beer” vibe. But musically, it has a nice funkiness that creates a steady, easygoing groove. Terrific lead guitar. Harmless fun. [7/10]

Scott Zuppardo: The best part of this whole deal here is seeing my friend Waylon Payne in the video. A bit too cutesy for my tastes but the video is quite entertaining. [3/10]

SCORE: 6.33