Usually (and possibly unfairly) associated with the American Idol side of all things country, Miranda Lambert’s new double album is a stunning portrayal of hurt and courage in the face of loss.
Fashioned into two parts, “The Nerve” and “The Heart”, the album, though not specifically devoted to her recent high profile divorce, is marked deeply by the scars that such an experience brings and how one picks themselves up with enough momentum to move on.
Much like other double albums that have dotted rock and country history, Exile On Main Street and The White Album, for example, this record sprawls and staggers, dragging the listener along to whatever seedy bar or truckstop it pulls into.
The mix is rough, the instrumentation deliberately murky, and this goes a long way to making this such a personable and real collection of songs.
There’s no glitz, no shine, no pretence, just performance and emotion.
There are so many highlights here – the meandering low-key menace of Smoking Jacket triggers goosebumpswith each ominous chord change, Tin Man floats ethereally over gossamer keyboard effects and rolling drums while Pushin’ Time is pure tears in a glass.
On the other hand, songs like You Wouldn’t Know Me and Ugly Lights are performed with such gusto that one almost forgets how dark their lyrics are.
A challenge for her considerable fanbase, The Weight Of These Wings is an album of maturity, strength and density that belies Lambert’s constant mainstream tabloid presence.
A long, stumbling, circuitous journey around the scratchy scars of heartbreak and the remote possibilities that open up as a result.
Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.