Miranda Lambert Is Making the Music Matter Most

Are Liner Notes Just Not a Thing Anymore?

I have this thing I do when I get a new album from a country artist I love: I pour a glass of wine, put the music on, turn the volume all the way up, and sit down to read every single word in the artist’s album liner notes.

So last night, when I got the advance copy of Miranda Lambert’s Wildcard, that’s exactly when I did. Except when I got to the liner notes, there was something missing.

The song credits are all there, just not that precious last paragraph about everything and everyone that went into making the music.

The music on this album is some of her very best — honestly, I don’t know how she keeps topping herself, but she does — but I do miss the part where she thanks everyone who had a hand in making the record, and shares little inside jokes that make me feel like I’m part of the family.

Some of my favorites were from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, from 2007. Inside the CD case, she thanks her mom, her dad and her brother Luke. And God. And her dogs. And her family, friends, crew, co-writers, her bus driver and her management. And to her band, she wrote, “Glad y’all liked the road, we only have 20 more years to go!” (If she’s right about that, we can look forward to live Lambert shows until at least 2027.)

“And finally,” she added, “for all the Ran Fans who keep buying my records, coming to see us on the road, and for spreading the word about me. You guys are the reason we all have jobs. I will always be good to my fans, because y’all are good to me. Thanks for always so showing up!”

Then on another one of my favorites, Four the Record from 2011, she started with God. “Thank you to God for every blessing. My family: who are always my number one fans. To friends: the best ones in the world. To the band and crew: my other family. To country radio: for continuing to play my music and share it with the world.

“And finally, to my loyal fans: without you, none of this matters,” Lambert wrote, “Thank you for loving me back.”

Even on 2013’s Annie Up, the second album from her all-girl country trio Pistol Annies with Angeleena Presley and Ashley Monroe, each one of the band mates had a place to share their thoughts on the project.

When it was Lambert’s turn, this is what she wrote.

“Thank you God for the gifts. The gifts of love, music, friendship and sisterhood — without one, the others wouldn’t exist. At least not in my world. Ang and Ash,I love you for loving me back and for pushing me to be better in all things, and for being my family. Thanks to you both, I get to be 12 forever,” she said, “play dress up and sing in a hairbrush and do it on a tour bus!”

And for the fans of the trio, Lambert had some very special thanks.

“Fans! Who knew there were so many crazy people like us out there who like singing about stuff they are not supposed to. We love the fans and we hope you like this one too,” she said. “Let’s set another ’Bad Example.'”

Maybe this short film — due out Nov. 4 — that Lambert made about making Wildcard will answer all the questions I have.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.
@alisonbonaguro