What kind of music did you grow up listening to? I was a kid in Middle Tennessee with small-town parents, so I grew up on country music. I have met people who grew up like I did and they despise country music; there are others, like myself, who have a deep-seeded love for good country music. On top of that kind of raising, my first job in radio was pushing buttons for Country Gold Saturday Night, I worked crowd control a few summers at the International Country Music Fan Fair, and I worked at the Grand Ole Opry in college.
Going back through my blog you will see that I am drawn to good, real country. Back in April, I thought that I had found the best country album of the year with Midwest Farmer’s Daughter by Margo Price. I might have been wrong.
The Weight of These Wings is a red dirt Texas country album. If this record was released by any number of “alt-country” stars or touring Texas country musicians it would be just as great, but it would not have been number one on any chart. It would not get any love from mainstream radio and you would not see it on the shelves at Target. But, this album is from one of mainstream country’s biggest stars and it will lead the charge for a change in the crap pop bro-country that is on the radio.
The Weight of These Wings is two-stepping, story-telling red dirt Americana country suitable for any bearded hipster wearing a True Religion pearl button shirt and drinking a $12 bottle of craft microbrew because PBR is so cliché. I make fun, but I love the sound that is considered “alt-country” just as much as he does; maybe I am just jealous that I can’t grow a beard.
Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings is a 90-minute masterpiece of heartbreak, sadness, and fuck-it-I-need-to-get-over-this-breakup attitude. It is a collection of songs that will allow you to sit alone with a beer and think about loves you have lost, maybe make a tear well up, and help you feel like you are better off without them in your life; it does everything a good country album should do.
There is a downside to The Weight of These Wings: the packaging of the three LPs is cumbersome and it can be difficult to change the wax, especially when you have been sad-drinking while listening.
Runnin’ Just In Case