Her 2011 album Four The Record, which contained the smash hit “Mama’s Broken Heart” and the ever heartbreaking “Over You,” the Pistol Annies’ 2018 album Interstate Gospel, and one of her best albums, her 2019 release Wildcard, were all released in November.
And on this day five years ago, we got not one but TWO new Miranda albums.
Miranda pretty much started the double album trend in country music back in 2016 with her so-called divorce album, The Weight of These Wings.
Of course, her sixth studio album was instantly labeled her “divorce album” when it was announced, because it immediately followed her extremely public divorce from Blake Shelton in 2015. And, you’d be hard pressed to find any sort of press or media with Miranda even talking about the album at the time, and there’s a damn good reason for it.
Immediately upon the release of an album, most artists do a media circuit full of interviews, podcasts, tours, and more to promote the project they’ve just put out. And, that started out no differently for Miranda.
Unfortunately, though, she quickly found out that, because everyone was so invested in her divorce from Blake and all the nitty gritty details, they were less interested in actually talking about the music itself. In fact, she didn’t even get through one minute of the very first phone interview:
“‘First question was, “How do you feel about Gwen?’ I hung up. I told Marion [her manager], I just can’t do this.”
Moreover, she had gotten to a point after writing and recording the whole thing that she found closure in knowing that it was out there for the public to hear, and people could listen to the record if they wanted to know how she felt about everything.
I mean, that’s kinda the point of making a divorce album:
“It was going to be hell, and I’d already been through hell. It was hell putting it on paper, putting my words on paper. So I didn’t want to rehash.
I’d finally gotten to a place where I wasn’t sad anymore. All the sad moments were there, all the truths were right in those songs. All you had to do was listen. I didn’t need to say anything.”
The two records, appropriately labeled The Nerve and The Heart, dive deep into her feelings about not only her divorce, but life at the time and everything else she had going on while trying to come to the realization that her marriage simply didn’t work out.
It’s one of the most brilliant country records of the last 15 years, and five years later, it remains timeless with tales about love, loss and everything in between.
Few “divorce albums” (or double albums, for that matter) end up being what we all hope they will be, because most artists end up holding back and leaving important things out for fear of revealing too much. Of course, we all know Miranda has never had that problem, and that alone allowed this record to reach its full, unbridled potential.
The Weight of These Wings debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Country Albums chart, and also won Album of the Year at the 2017 ACM Awards, which was Lambert’s fifth consecutive album to win the award, a record for any artist.
Oh, and it also made the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2020, checking in at number 480.
Honestly, the project is just what we’ve come to expect from Miranda: Pure gold.
So, in honor of the day, I plan to spin both records back to back with a little tequila and revel in the absolute genius that is Miranda Lambert…