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Miranda Lambert's brand-new album 'The load of this Wings' tackles a broken past and an uncertain future.

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Daniela Federici


Some breakups space so contentious, also artists confident enough to title your previous album Platinum can’t endure them untarnished. One year ~ a really public divorce native Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert gets the critical word withThe load of this Wings, a double-disc magnum opus the tackles breakups, booze, friendships, fetishes, old scars and 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 greatly written by outsiders, as an moral look in ~ his personal life. Through her byline on 20 songs, Lambert more than sextuples the lot of original product on her release, and also her external song options (including a pair of under-the-radar covers by Danny O’Keefe and Shake Russell) help complete an album whose uncompressed guitar tones, daronger drums – courtesy of original Pearl Jam member Matt Chamberlain – and left-of-center arrangements disregard the fads of peak 40 nation radio. Lambert isn’t chasing success here; she’s chasing the muse. The result is a pure, pointed look in ~ heartbreak and reconstruction, ceded by a writer who’s in ~ the top of she game and a band that’s motivated to obtain weird.


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Lambert isn’t taking any interviews these days. She’s worn down of the media hoopla that surrounds a major-label nation release, and besides, she’d quite let the music execute the talking. Luckily, The weight of this Wings – developed by frank Liddell, glen Worf and also Eric Masse – states a lot, supplying heft and also honesty in equal numbers. We malfunction the album’s 2 halves – titled The Nerve and also The Heart, respectively – days before the album’s official release ~ above November 18th.

DISC ONE: THE NERVE

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

“There’s freedom in a damaged heart,” Lambert assures at the near of this highway anthem, i beg your pardon kicks off These Wings‘ an initial disc v ringing reverb, muffled percussion and also the airy atmospherics of Reagan-era U2.

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

Written by Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally and Luke Dick, that co-wrote Eric Church’s “Kill a Word,” “Highway Vagabond” is equal components country-funk road song and hillbilly nursery rhyme, yielded by a touring pro who’s watched her re-superstructure 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 ~ above the fluorescents and pushes her the end the door. Slaphappy one minute and also sad-eyed the next, it’s the sound that a bender’s boozy highs and hungover lows.

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

Texas songwriter shiver Russell first recorded this rowdy kiss-off in 1996, aiming its text at an unnamed ex who broke his heart. Two years later, Lambert reclaims it together her very own divorce song, dressing increase the song with Telecaster twang and coed harmonies.

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

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


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

Lambert is a “firm believer in the strength of plastic,” speak-singing this ode to accessories while electrical guitars buzz, burp and blast in the background. A valley Girl theme track on the surface, “Pink Sunglasses” packs a surprising beat at its core, v Lambert – who launches into the 2nd and 3rd choruses with a grunted “Uh!” – nailing a rare mix the trailer-park sass and also hip-hop swagger the her cowgirl contemporaries can’t seem to match.

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

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

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

We’ve all heard this Wings‘ lead-off single before, however “Vice” sounds choose a new song here, sandwiched in between the lush loveliness that “Getaway Driver” and also the heated, horn-dog sluggish burn the “Smoking Jacket.” It additionally marks the minute where wing takes the very very first dark twist, through Lambert letting she guard down and showing the depths that loom beneath all that armor.

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

Picking off where “Vice” left off, “Smoking Jacket” finds Lambert prowling because that a nicotine addict who’ll “make a habit of loving me ’til the hurts.” Dark, dangerous and also irresistible, v a four-on-the-floor kick north anchoring the song’s mix of 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, yet she sings it with East, transforming “Pushin’ Time” right into one of the album’s many heartfelt moments. “If it has to end in tears, ns hope it’s in 60 years,” she promises throughout the last verse.

11. “Covered Wagon” (Danny O’Keefe)

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

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

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

DISC TWO: THE HEART

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

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

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

Like much of this Wings, “Good Ol’ Days” skews closer come Americana than modern-day country, v Brent Cobb ¬– cousin that the genre’s reigning producer-in-charge, Dave Cobb, which an ext or much less makes the Americana nobility – claiming a co-writing credit. Easily accessible and agreeable, v vocal harmonies running throughout the song’s 3 minutes.

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

Like the soundtrack come a sock-hop sluggish dance during the 1950s, “Things that Break” swoons and also sways, with a etc riff the splits the difference in between surf rock and dancehall country.

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


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

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

Showcasing Lambert’s vocal chops like few songs prior to it, “Well-Rested” is a slow, stunning waltz, co-written v East and accented by the oscillating throb the a tremolo guitar. You can hear the vintage amps humming during the final moments, a reminder that great performances pack a more powerful punch 보다 perfectly sleek production. Real and also raw.

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

The 3rd song in a heat to attribute co-writing assist from Aaron Raitiere, “Tomboy” plays increase the connection between Lambert and her two back-up singers: Gwen Sebastian and also Madi Diaz. The 3 women coo, croon and pile your voices right into harmonized triads, turning “Tomboy” into, ironically enough, one of the album’s most feminine moments.

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

Spencer Cullum’s pedal steel and Hargus “Pig” Robbins’ saloon-style piano lead the charge on this honky-tonk house run, i m sorry would’ve found a welcome residence on golden-era albums by George Strait and George Jones. Co-written v the exact same team the whipped increase “Use my Heart,” “To learn Her” finds Lambert delivering another stunner the a vocal performance, with guitarist frank Carter Rische tracing she melodies in perfect harmony. A master course in standard country.

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

“Somebody blazed this trail I’m treading on,” Lambert says, tipping her hat to the songwriters who came prior to her. Fueled by arena-rock percussion and also chiming guitar riffs, “Keeper of the Flame” doubles together a power-ballad empowerment anthem, v Lambert finding vessel to relocate forward by looking back at the craft and also courage of her songwriting idols.


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

A loose, lanky look in ~ the magnetism of attention dudes, through a less-than-perfect vocal take it – “What’s the intro?” Lambert asks throughout the an initial 15 seconds, cutting off the band prior to revving increase the song’s engines once again – that provides this “Bad Boy” feel infinitely an ext human.

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

Our heroine high-tails that from brand-new Orleans to brand-new York, in the hopes that a busy take trip schedule will aid her forget about a previous flame. She can’t seem come outrun his ghost, yet she does manage to rhyme “bus prevent bench” v “Merrill Lynch,” which 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 southerly soul and country-gospel right into a stunning love song to the sun. “I still view your light” walk the refrain, beefed up through double-stacked harmonies indigenous Lambert’s acoustic guitarist, frank Carter Rische, and also frequent Jack White sidewoman Lillie Mae Rische.

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

The weight of these Wings started with a highway song, so it’s proper that Lambert winds whatever to an open-ended near with another ode to “rolling on.” Here, guitarist Luke Reynolds steals the display with a searing solo, if Lambert cd driver her tape forward at cruising speed, eager to chase down whatever’s next.