Single Review: Miranda Lambert, “Tin Man”

“Tin Man”
Miranda Lambert

Written by Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, and Jon Randall

Miranda Lambert strikes up a pair of strange conversations on The Weight of These Wings.

I find the other one – “Dear Old Sun” – a lot more interesting than “The Tin Man,” perhaps because Kenny Chesney insisted on releasing his own take on this idea twice.

Lambert is more creative than Chesney is with the concept, and the intimacy of her performance delivers melancholy without becoming maudlin.  But it’s still a song about a conversation with a Wizard of Oz character, and the inherent limitations of that framework can’t be overcome by even an artist as great as Lambert.

The best qualities of “Tin Man” can be found on much better songs across The Weight of These Wings. I’m surprised this is a single, really, because it makes a better case for Wings not needing to be a double album than it does for buying one of the best albums of 2016.

Grade: B-

15 Comments

  1. I absolutely adore this song! It is so sad and heartbreaking, yet so relatable. I completely admit to being a sobbing mess when I first heard this song, because I had just gone through a horrible breakup. The song is very well-written and the production hits all of the right notes as well.

  2. I do really like this song. I just can’t separate it from Kenny Cheseny’s take on the theme, which is nearly identical. I have the same problem with Carrie Underwood’s ‘Last Name,’ which is a second rate ripoff of the Alan Jackson classic. I just hope this doesn’t become a new trend.

  3. …i’m still somewhat fighting with the full weight of these wings, but tin man is a real little beauty (chesney’s tin man stuff also is a guilty pleasure of mine). perhaps, this song is listened to best, when in a state like amanda or similar.

  4. I don’t know how this song will wear on me, but the first few listens have definitely been enjoyable. When that percussion kicks in around the 2:00 mark and fills out the mix it really clicks. And Miranda’s vocal is just excellent; it’s intimate and the way she says, “take it from me darling,” just drips with emotion.

    “Vice” was way too cluttered for me, and “We Should Be Friends” was such a nothing of a song that it didn’t stick at all, so I’d say this is easily my favorite single from TWOTW so far.

  5. While I agree the song has a limited theme, Lambert really sells it. It is more like a B+. There are many great songs that wouldn’t work without the great vocal performance of the singer. Lambert- when put to the test- is definitely in the group.

  6. Eh, I don’t quite get the criticism of this being similar to Chesney’s song (or the criticism of “Last Name” Jon makes). Considering how many songs there are about needing someone, partying on a dirt road, and so on, having a couple songs across years featuring someone talking about the Tin Man seems like a minuscule issue (as does the Jackson/Underwood comparison). Plus, Chesney’s song says he wishes he was the Tin Man, while Lambert’s is talking to the Tin Man (i.e. they have different points of view). At this point it’s hard to be truly original in song anyway, so at least this isn’t a song that has been done hundreds of times.

  7. I’m so happy that this single has put a fresh push behind WOTW. I think it’s a stunning single. The simplicity of it will really stand out if radio decides to play it. But either way, I do believe that ‘Tin Man’ (along with ‘Vice’) will go on to define this album era.

  8. Dang. Was hoping for a higher grade. Really think Miranda knocks it out of the park here. Love how she approaches the them in such a gutting and thoughtful way. So glad it’s the next single following the “meh” We Should Be Friends.

    On another note: Vice was the correct lead single, but this should have been #2.

  9. Disagree, I really like Tin Man! Country radio has NEVER loved Miranda so why not go w/ one that so many have connected with already. Seems to be a great choice since I can’t stop watching her ACM performance & playing the song while in my car. So many great songs on the albums hoping for Ugly Lights. Guess she will have many singles since it is such a big project.

  10. Julie, you said “Country radio has NEVER loved Miranda.” Um, what? You even stress the “NEVER.” How is someone who has had a #2 at radio with “White Liar” followed by a #1 with “The House That Built Me” someone who has “NEVER” been loved by radio? She then had another #1 with “Heart Like Mine” followed by a top 3, another #1, a top 10, and a #2.

  11. Aren’t we splitting hairs at this point? I’d say radio has “NEVER loved,” say, Brandy Clark. We all know females are at a disadvantage at country radio, but Lambert has had more success the past 10 years than any female except Carrie Underwood.

    But if you want to go there, you could say radio ‘loved’ Miranda from the period of “White Liar” through “Mama’s Broken Heart” (2009-2013) since she had 7 top 10s in that time, including 3 #1s.

  12. I have a different interpretation of this song; I read it as her talking to or warning a previous version of herself, at least partially (particularly in the second verse). I’m not sure if that was meant to come across, but it definitely elevates the song for me.

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