By Hannah Compton
Miranda Lambert has released an honesty driven album that comes from the purest of hearts and the sweetest of souls.
I feel that The Weight Of These Wings will go down in history as one of the best country albums of all time and will undoubtedly be a contender for album of the year at the CMA’s next year and hopefully a Grammy, too.
Miranda brings so much truth and passion to this album, showing us her sensitive and vulnerable side and she delivers powerfully emotional vocals with brutally honest lyrics as well as keeping her crazy, sass, bad ass attitude and female empowerment. No one in the music industry sounds like Miranda vocally, she is truly unique.
This album has everything from the most traditional country, through the sweetest style of Texan Country to the purest sound of Americana with elements of Folk, Blues, Jazz, church music and even a bit of a American Celtic Punk. Sonically, it pulls in elements from every one of her previous albums making it almost incomparable to any one album. Miranda returns to her roots with this album and reminds us why women in Country should be celebrated and championed.
I read this quote which said, “Behind every successful woman, is a tribe of other successful women that have her back”. This is proven by the amount of support Miranda has from other artists – from those who co-wrote with her on this album, to those who took to social media on release day to praise her and this album.
The Weight Of These Wings is a double album divided between ‘The Nerve’ and ‘The Heart’, with 24 tracks in total – but you don’t feel like it is overkill. Every song is a stand-out track alone and has the ability to be a single. This entire album, for me, was over so soon because I was enjoying it so much that I hadn’t even noticed how much time had passed. It is an endlessly playable album and a timeless, epic work of art.
Each and every writer involved on this album is of such undeniable talent with some of the best writing credits in the industry, that it’s no wonder this album is outstanding. As one of the most talented and respected songwriters in Nashville herself, I can’t imagine anyone turning down the opportunity to work with Miranda.
It’s almost like The Weight Of These Wings is a celebration of the finest songwriters in Nashville and the fact that songwriters are greatly respected and recognised in this genre makes this album even more note-worthy.
With 24 remarkable songs, I felt it unnecessary to review them all which, so I’ve selected my current favourites.
Vice – (The Nerve) – the first single released from the album and the song that invited us into what to expect from The Weight Of These Wings. Vice left everyone excited to hear the return of the Miranda we know and love, as it has that original Miranda sound from her Kerosene days. It also made us realise just how much depth this album was going to have.
Miranda also released three other tracks before the album’s release day. Which all fall under my favourites category.
Keeper Of The Flame (The Heart)–is an inspirational and relatable track. This is a power driven and emotionally raw song which is anthem-like and painfully real. This is quite possibly one of the best songs Miranda has ever released and was co written by two of my favourite writers, Natalie Hemby and Liz Rose. I would love to see this song live. I think it would be atmospheric and electrifying.
Highway Vagabond (The Nerve) – It has an infectious ‘Spaghetti Western’ sound, with an almost dark, yet mid-tempo, cool melody and a sassy chorus.
We Should Be Friends (The Nerve) – is the only song on the album that Miranda wrote just by herself. This is a tongue-in-cheek song, seemingly describing the perfect friend via their imperfections – but the lyrics indicate it to be more of a self description.
“I don’t know you well but I know that look
And I can judge the cover ’cause I wrote the book
On losing sleep and gaining weight
On pain and shame and crazy trains”
One of my favourite tracks off the album is Smoking Jacket (The Nerve) – co- written with the brilliant Natalie Hemby and British singer/songwriter Lucie Silvas, who Miranda has championed for a long time. It has a cool, breezy, Bluesy/Jazzy sound with an ambient and slight trip-hop style. I kept relating back to Madonna’s Ray Of Light Album – only in parts of the song.
Pushin’ Time (The Nerve) – is co-written with Foy Vance and Natalie Hemby and boyfriend and artist in his own right – Anderson East sings with her. A simply stunning track that gave me chills (the good kind), with lyrics which are honest and give us a view of their relationship.
“And they say only time can tell, You already know me well.
If it has to end in tears, I hope that it’s in sixty years.”
You Wouldn’t Know Me (The Nerve) – although this track is solely written by Shake Russell and is in fact a cover of his 1996 hit , it has Miranda written all over it and she really makes it her own. It has a beautiful blend of traditional and modern country which makes it deliciously addictive. The chorus is a real fun treat, in the best kind of catchy way.
Ugly Lights (The Nerve) – this is one of the tracks that I recognised a bit of American Celtic Punk in it. I can picture Dropkick Murphys singing a version of this. The chorus is where I hear the punk element mostly. This is a great song and one that would be amazing live. A great drinking song about the aftermath of a night out.
Six Degrees Of Separation (The Heart) – another song with an element of Punk in but more Punk Rock which I can really hear being a track sung by The Distillers. This is one of the bad ass Miranda tracks, the Miranda with her sass and attitude that she is so well known for.
Good Ol’ Days (The Heart) – starts off with a lovely traditional country sound and then flows into a really exciting chorus which is powerfully addictive and reminds me of the Revolution era of her career.
Runnin’ Just In Case (The Nerve) – this song kicks off the entire album and has such a fantastic, atmospheric intro. Its echoing and haunting vibe is enchanting and hypnotic. Miranda co-wrote this with good friend Gwen Sebastian, who also tours with Miranda as her backing vocalist. I love the lyrics. They are so heart-breaking and show Miranda’s vulnerability.
“I carry them around with me, I don’t mind having scars
Happiness ain’t prison, but there’s freedom in a broken heart”
Some of the tracks are emotionally and beautifully sombre -such as Runnin’ Just In Case -showing us that during her personal distress she took solace in songwriting and translated her experiences into beautiful songs, proving that music is a healer.
Every track is a groundbreaking, truth-telling, painfully honest song that touches your heart and soul.
You need this album in your collection or on your playlist. It will change your life – even if just in that moment.
After all – Music is a healer.
The Weight of These Wings by Miranda Lambert
Miranda will be touring the US and UK next year, information here ;