Released four years ago today, Miranda Lambert’s 2016 double album The Weight of These Wings is a straight up country music masterpiece.
Following Miranda’s extremely public divorce from Blake Shelton in 2015, she delivered what would be one of the strongest albums of her catalog. Unfortunately, as is the case when you put out 24 songs at one time, many of the most powerful tracks on The Weight of These Wings have been overlooked and forgotten. This raw album offers some of the strongest and most vulnerable songwriting that we have ever seen from Miranda, and it is too good to be ignored.
The first disc of the double record, titled “The Nerve,” included a perfect mix of the spunky badass Miranda that we all know and love, and also a glimpse into her broken heart. She lightheartedly writes about drinking in the bar until the “Ugly Lights” come on, singing, “I wear my sadness like a souvenir.” Although she loves to joke around, she isn’t afraid to share her fear of falling back in love in songs like “Use My Heart” or “Pushin’ Time.”
Meanwhile, the second disc of the record, titled “The Heart,” is where you feel all the emotions. We all know and love “Tin Man,” but the heartbreak doesn’t end there. The level of honesty that Miranda was able to reach on songs like “Things That Break” and “To Learn Her” are rarities in today’s music. Another underrated cut from The Weight of These Wings was “Keeper of the Flame.” An anthem of sorts, “Keeper Of The Flame,” finds Miranda working her ass off to feed the fire that her heroes started. She honors the legends that paved the way for musicians like herself in a way like no other, while at the time admitting that she’s burned out herself. How the song failed to crack the top 50 on the country charts is a travesty.
It is easily a contender for the most honest country record to come out in the past decade, but sometimes, it feels like it was forgotten so quickly. It did win ACM Album of the Year and receive a nomination for CMA Album of the Year in 2017, but given the year we’re having right now, it couldn’t be more applicable to life in 2020.
If you’re looking for real country music, it’s standing right here. And I highly recommend you listen to it the old-fashioned way, front to back, beginning to end… and you will meet a side of Miranda that you never knew.