Heartbreak is one of the life’s most universal experiences; we fall in love just to fall back out again, collapsing in tears, booze, and lonely nights. Two and a half years ago, Miranda Lambert found herself in the eye of such a frenzy. In the aftermath of her divorce from Blake Shelton, she put pen to paper for her seventh studio album, The Weight Of These Wings, turning the experience into a modern country masterpiece.
Foregoing much press, the star let the music do the talking — and alongside such salacious headlines as “Why Miranda Lambert Cheated” and “Blake Shelton Caught Miranda Lambert Cheating” — there was plenty to speculate about.
Beneath the rumors and hushed whispers, however, there lies one of the boldest albums in country history. The cultural significance of Wings rests on two tangible elements — its clear-cut, towering physical status (24 songs is nearly unheard of in the mainstream) and her plain-spoken truth. The aching quiver of songs like “Tin Man,” “Use My Heart,” and “Things That Break” provide all the sound bites a listener needs to satisfy their thirst for drama. Paired with the lead single “Vice,” in which she turns to one-night stands and booze to cope, Lambert was at her most honest — and most ambitious.
“It was so beyond anything I had ever seen,” producer Eric Masse detailed in one of a handful of interviews around the record. “She just knew. She knew what was right and what was wrong, always. Every artist has opinions, but I don’t mean opinions. She was doubling down on the actual emotions, and really living inside them. She didn’t have opinions. She just knew the answers.”