2016 | RCA Nashville | 1 hour 32 minutes
On November 18 Miranda Lambert released 24- track double album “The Weight of These Wings”. The 33- year- old divorced Blake Shelton in June 2015; Shelton started dating The Voice costar Gwen Stefani. Lambert is currently not taking interviews. I think she’s a badass. Who cares if she’s not taking interviews? She recorded 24 songs.
That said, she probably didn’t need an hour and a half to say what she needed to say. The double album hits its stride around “Getaway Driver” and loses it after “Things That Break”. The Weight Of These Wings paints a picture of a complex, conflicted, not- so- young woman, but some of the songs feel cheap or tired.
Here are the best: “Highway Vagabond”, “Getaway Driver”, “Vice”, “Smoking Jacket”, “Pushin’ Time”, “Use My Heart”, “Things That Break”, “Keeper of the Flame”.
Disc I: The Nerve
2. “Highway Vagabond”- Easily one of the best songs on the album. The perfect loop to play on repeat during a cross- country road trip, particularly one that includes Texas. You can practically hear the dust on the road. However, I heard Miranda and her band perform this song at the Macy’s Parade, and it definitely works better as a recording.
7. “Getaway Driver”- The press gives attention to “Pushin’ Time”, Miranda’s duet with beau Anderson East, but I find their co- write “Getaway Driver” much stronger. Then again, I’m a sucker for sad Springsteen-y songs.
8. “Vice”- The album’s first single, with good reason.
9. “Smoking Jacket”- “I want a man with a smoking jacket/ And he lights his matches with kerosine” Lambert sings on this sexy slow burn.
10. “Pushin’ Time”- Dubbed Lambert’s sorry- not- sorry “apology” piece. It’s still sweet, sentimental and retirement- ready out of context.
12. “Use My Heart”- “I don’t have the nerve to use my heart” she sings in her thesis and end of Part I, “The Nerve.” Enter Part II, “The Heart.”
Disc II: The Heart
3. “Things That Break”- “I stay away from things that break” she sings on this extended metaphor for hearts.
8. “Keeper of the Flame”- I call this Miranda’s “Long Live” track. Taylor Swift put “Long Live” on her album Speak Now as an arena- ready battle anthem that pays homage to her own badassery. Ditto “Keeper of the Flame”.
Worst Songs: “Pink Sunglasses”, “For The Birds”, “Ugly Lights”, “Good Ol’ Days”, “Well Rested”
They’re not bad songs, but we’ve heard some version of them (“Old Sh*t”, “Little Red Wagon”, “Sunday In The South”) from Lambert already.
Check out this super thorough Rolling Stone article for songwriting creds.