A co-write by Miranda with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, it’s one of my favorite sad country songs and never fails to hit me right where it hurts.
On this day in 2016, it was released as the lead single from her 2016 The Weight of These Wings album, and the song fizzled out just before cracking the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay chart.
And honestly, that’s a damn crime… not that I expect much less from country radio, but still, I can never get over the fact that it wasn’t a #1 hit.
Miranda told The Tennessean that she wrote “Vice” during a hard time in her life, namely her very public divorce from Blake Shelton, and that the inspiration came when shit was hitting the fan and everything was going awry:
“I wrote this at the exact time of the shit hitting the fan. I think it’s great, though. It’s documented on paper with emotion.”
The song gets to the heart of the fact that we all have vices, no matter what they are, and Miranda added that she’s knows all too well what it feels like to run exactly to the thing that’s the worst for you to try to unsuccessfully fill a deep and painful void in your heart:
“Everybody has a vice of some sort. Sometimes when you’re going through something in your life, you may run to some things you shouldn’t and run from some things you shouldn’t.
I think this song is an opportunity to just be honest and own it and say, ‘Yeah, I have some imperfections, and I live a life and here and there I might get in a pickle.’
It’s not about one thing or another.”
Part of the reason the song has become a fan-favorite, and one of the very best in her entire catalog, in my very humble opinion, is because it’s acutely honest and relatable.
I mean, the bridge is so searing and straightforward in terms of her admission that she’s often let her vices get so out of hand that she doesn’t even recognize herself anymore:
“Standing at the sink not looking in a mirror Don’t know where I am or how I got here Well, the only thing that I know how to find Is another vice”
I think most of us have been there a time or two, at least…
She’s human just like all of us, and often, that means running towards the wrong things and reaching for something that will only make the situation worse:
“Everybody has a vice they run to when they need comfort, and I think that’s what this song says. There’s no mystery here.
I run to things for comfort just like everybody else.”
Amen to that, Miranda…
I mean, seriously, how was this not a mega hit?
And you know I had to include the acoustic version of Miranda singing with her co-writer Shane, because it’s as raw and honest as they come, and I would absolutely love to get an acoustic studio version one day: