Miranda Lambert’s ‘The weight of these Wings’: Track-by-Track Guide

Singer-songwriter tackles breakups, booze and also the future in a wildly ambitious and equally impressive dual album


Miranda Lambert's new album 'The weight of this Wings' tackles a damaged past and also an uncertain future.

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Daniela Federici

Some breakups room so contentious, even artists confident enough to title your previous album Platinum can’t survive them untarnished. One year after a very public divorce from Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert it s okay the last word withThe weight of these Wings, a double-disc magnum opus that tackles breakups, booze, friendships, fetishes, old scars and brand-new beginnings end the food of 24 songs.

Shelton rush-released his very own tribute come Splitsville, If I’m Honest, in May, billing the record, whose songs were mostly written by outsiders, together an ethical look in ~ his an individual life. With her byline top top 20 songs, Lambert more than sextuples the lot of original product on her release, and also her outside song selections (including a pair of under-the-radar consists by Danny O’Keefe and Shake Russell) assist complete an album who uncompressed etc tones, daronger drums – courtesy of initial Pearl Jam member Matt Chamberlain – and left-of-center arrangements ignore the patterns of peak 40 nation radio. Lambert isn’t chasing success here; she’s chasing the muse. The result is a pure, spicy look at heartbreak and reconstruction, delivered by a writer who’s in ~ the height of her game and a tape that’s encouraged to obtain weird.

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Lambert isn’t taking any type of interviews these days. She’s worn down of the media hoopla the surrounds a major-label nation release, and besides, she’d fairly let the music carry out the talking. Luckily, The load of this Wings – produced by candid Liddell, valley Worf and also Eric Masse – claims a lot, supplying heft and honesty in equal numbers. We breakdown the album’s two halves – title The Nerve and The Heart, respectively – days prior to the album’s main release on November 18th.


1. “Runnin’ simply in Case” (Miranda Lambert/Gwen Sebastian)

“There’s freedom in a damaged heart,” Lambert assures at the close of this highway anthem, which kicks turn off These Wings‘ first disc through ringing reverb, muffled percussion and the airy atmospherics of Reagan-era U2.

2. “Highway Vagabond” (Luke Dick/Natalie Hemby/Shane McAnally)

Written by Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally and also Luke Dick, that co-wrote Eric Church’s “Kill a Word,” “Highway Vagabond” is equal components country-funk roadway song and also hillbilly nursery rhyme, yielded by a touring pro who’s seen her re-publishing of mile markers.

3. “Ugly Lights” (Miranda Lambert/Natalie Hemby/Liz Rose)

Lambert reinvents herself together a barfly who slurs her way from happy hour to last call, refusing to leaving the premises until the barkeep flips top top the fluorescents and pushes her out the door. Slaphappy one minute and sad-eyed the next, it’s the sound that a bender’s boozy highs and hungover lows.

4. “You Wouldn’t know Me” (Shake Russell)

Texas songwriter shower Russell an initial recorded this rowdy kiss-off in 1996, aiming its lyrics at an unnamed ex who broke his heart. Two years later, Lambert reclaims it as her own divorce song, dressing increase the track with Telecaster twang and also coed harmonies.

5. “We should Be Friends” (Miranda Lambert)

Featuring a song-stealing north groove indigenous Matt Chamberlain, “We have to Be Friends” feels like the country-pop punchline come Jeff Foxworthy’s wire of “You could be a redneck” one-liners. Here, Lambert solicits brand-new recruits for she social circle, getting to out to those who, favor her, proudly sports stained T-shirts, closets stocked with borrowed dresses and hearts as empty as diesel tanks.

6. “Pink Sunglasses” (Rodney Clawson/Luke Dick/Natalie Hemby)

Lambert is a “firm believer in the power of plastic,” speak-singing this ode to accessories while electrical guitars buzz, burp and also blast in the background. A valley Girl theme song on the surface, “Pink Sunglasses” packs a surprising beat at that core, v Lambert – that launches into the second and 3rd choruses v a grunted “Uh!” – nailing a rarely mix the trailer-park sass and also hip-hop swagger that her cowgirl contemporaries can’t seem to match.

7. “Getaway Driver” (Miranda Lambert/Anderson East/Natalie Hemby)

Ah, correctly – the long-awaited co-write with Anderson East, Lambert’s boyfriend. Pitching its tent halfway in between Platinum‘s “Smokin’ and also Drinkin,” and Revolution‘s “Virginia Bluebell,” “Getaway Driver” is swooning, sexy and also soft-hued, v synthesized strings that drift toward the horizon. Lambert switches gender roles during the song, too, to sing “Getaway Driver” indigenous the perspective of a man who keeps a close watch on his trouble-prone lover, all set to spirit her far whenever she gets “tangled in her messes.” Gorgeous.

8. “Vice” (Miranda Lambert/Shane McAnally/Josh Osborne)

We’ve all heard this Wings‘ lead-off solitary before, however “Vice” sounds like a brand-new song here, sandwiched in between the lush loveliness of “Getaway Driver” and the heated, horn-dog slow burn of “Smoking Jacket.” It also marks the moment where wing takes the very an initial dark twist, v Lambert letting her guard down and also showing the depths that loom beneath all the armor.

9. “Smoking Jacket” (Miranda Lambert/Natalie Hemby/Lucie Silvas)

Picking off whereby “Vice” left off, “Smoking Jacket” finds Lambert prowling for a nicotine addict who’ll “make a habit of love me ’til that hurts.” Dark, dangerous and also irresistible, through a four-on-the-floor kick north anchoring the song’s mix the trumpet, etc tremolo and spooky steel.

10. “Pushin’ Time” (Miranda Lambert/Natalie Hemby/Foy Vance)

Lambert co-wrote this ballad v Irish singer Foy Vance, however she sings it through East, turning “Pushin’ Time” right into one of the album’s many heartfelt moments. “If it has to finish in tears, i hope it’s in 60 years,” she promises throughout the final verse.

11. “Covered Wagon” (Danny O’Keefe)

First tracked through Danny O’Keefe in 1971, this slab the greasy, hippie-friendly country-rock gets a modern makeover native Lambert, who replaces the initial recording’s barroom piano through the wail of an overdriven on slide guitar.

12. “Use my Heart” (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Waylon Payne)

Layered and lovely, “Use mine Heart” find Lambert working with longtime friend Ashley Monroe and brand-new collaborator Waylon Payne, who portrayed Jerry Lee Lewis in Joaquin Phoenix’s walk the Line. The result is a piece of classic, steel-heavy country balladry – v an expletive-filled twist.


1. “Tin Man” (Miranda Lambert/Jack Ingram/Jon Randall)

Lambert sings come the Tin male from The wizard of Oz, assuring him the circulatory offal aren’t every they’re cracked approximately be. “If you ever before felt one breaking, you’d never ever want a heart,” she promises. Behind her, synthesizers and reverb-heavy electric guitar swirl up a stunning wall of white noise.

2. “Good Ol’ Days” (Miranda Lambert/Brent Cobb/Adam Hood)

Like lot of this Wings, “Good Ol’ Days” skews closer come Americana than modern-day country, through Brent Cobb ¬– cousin the the genre’s reigning producer-in-charge, Dave Cobb, which an ext or much less makes the Americana nobility – declare a co-writing credit. Obtainable and agreeable, with vocal harmonies to run throughout the song’s three minutes.

3. “Things that Break” (Miranda Lambert/Jessi Alexander/Natalie Hemby)

Like the soundtrack to a sock-hop slow-moving dance during the 1950s, “Things the Break” swoons and also sways, through a etc riff the splits the difference between surf rock and dancehall country.

4. “For the Birds” (Miranda Lambert/Aaron Raitiere)

Lambert channels Lone Star statesmen like man Clark and also Jerry Jeff Walker, giving up a convincing combo of Texas twang, cowgirl wisdom and also top-notch inner rhyme (example: “I’m against the id of drinking witchy potions and causing large commotion, you know, son?”).

5. “Well-Rested” (Miranda Lambert/Anderson East/Aaron Raitiere)

Showcasing Lambert’s vocal chops like couple of songs prior to it, “Well-Rested” is a slow, stunning waltz, co-written with East and also accented by the oscillating throb the a tremolo guitar. You have the right to hear the vintage amps humming during the last moments, a reminder that an excellent performances pack a stronger punch than perfectly sleek production. Real and raw.

6. “Tomboy” (Miranda Lambert/Natalie Hemby/Aaron Raitiere)

The third song in a row to feature co-writing aid from Aaron Raitiere, “Tomboy” plays up the connection in between Lambert and also her two back-up singers: Gwen Sebastian and also Madi Diaz. The three women coo, croon and also pile their voices into harmonized triads, transforming “Tomboy” into, ironically enough, among the album’s most feminine moments.

7. “To learn Her” (Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Waylon Payne)

Spencer Cullum’s pedal steel and also Hargus “Pig” Robbins’ saloon-style piano lead the charge on this honky-tonk home run, i beg your pardon would’ve found a welcome residence on golden-era albums through George Strait and George Jones. Co-written through the exact same team that whipped increase “Use my Heart,” “To discover Her” find Lambert delivering one more stunner the a vocal performance, through guitarist frank Carter Rische tracing her melodies in perfect harmony. A master course in classic country.

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8. “Keeper that the Flame” (Miranda Lambert/Natalie Hemby/Liz Rose)

“Somebody blazed this trace I’m treading on,” Lambert says, tipping her cap to the songwriters who came before her. Sustained by arena-rock percussion and also chiming guitar riffs, “Keeper of the Flame” doubles as a power-ballad empowerment anthem, with Lambert finding courage to move forward through looking ago at the craft and courage of she songwriting idols.

9. “Bad Boy” (Miranda Lambert/Mando Saenz)

A loose, lanky look at the magnetism of dangerous dudes, v a less-than-perfect vocal take – “What’s the intro?” Lambert asks throughout the first 15 seconds, cutting off the band before revving up the song’s engines as soon as again – that renders this “Bad Boy” feel infinitely more human.

10. “Six degrees of Separation” (Miranda Lambert/Nicolle Galyon/Natalie Hemby)

Our heroine high-tails it from brand-new Orleans to new York, in the really hopes that a busy take trip schedule will aid her forget around a previous flame. She can’t seem come outrun his ghost, but she does manage to rhyme “bus protect against bench” with “Merrill Lynch,” i m sorry sounds prefer a solid success in our playbook.

11. “Dear Old Sun” (Miranda Lambert/Terri Jo Box/Gwen Sebastian)

Lambert sends out a prayer skyward, mixing southern soul and also country-gospel right into a stunning love track to the sun. “I still view your light” goes the refrain, beefed up with double-stacked harmonies from Lambert’s acoustic guitarist, open minded Carter Rische, and also frequent Jack White sidewoman Lillie Mae Rische.

12. “I’ve obtained Wheels” (Miranda Lambert/Gwen Sebastian/Scotty Wray)

The load of this Wings started with a highway song, for this reason it’s suitable that Lambert winds whatever to an open-ended close with another ode come “rolling on.” Here, guitarist Luke Reynolds steals the show with a searing solo, when Lambert cd driver her band forward in ~ cruising speed, eager to chase down whatever’s next.