Review : Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
EwThe title of the current single from Lady Antebellum's sophomore album is ''American Honey,'' and that also serves as a useful handle for the sticky-sweet sounds being pumped out by a new breed of Music City busy bees. Lady A, Sugarland, Gloriana: In just a few short years, these young coed country acts have become an integral part of the Nashville establishment, selling melodic, manicured roots music to folks whose iPods pair Coldplay with Carrie Underwood. Since its release in 2008, Lady Antebellum's self-titled debut has moved nearly 1.5 million copies — a huge number these days for anyone not named Taylor Swift.
On Need You Now, they try to define themselves outside the hive, and though the disc contains no shortage of uptempo charmers — ''Perfect Day,'' ''Stars Tonight'' — they're most successful when they keep to the moody minor-key stuff, such as the title track, ''Hello World,'' and ''Ready to Love Again.'' That's where Charles Kelley's and Hillary Scott's voices intertwine with a piercing white-soul lilt that feels uniquely theirs. . They harmonize so prettily over the piano-laced pulse of ''Need You Now'' that it takes you a couple of spins to realize that the tune is a virtual rewrite of ''Eye in the Sky'' by the Alan Parsons Project. ''It's a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk, and I need you now,'' they sing with disarming honesty. Little whiskey with your honey? Yes, please. B+...full text
hen Nashville-based Lady Antebellum won vocal group of the year at the 2009 Country Music Assn. Awards, it both ended Rascal Flatts' six-year reign in that category and accelerated the trio's journey into country music stardom. Indeed, Lady Antebellum's sophomore album, "Need You Now," will be a genre fixture this year. On the title track, the group's Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott harmonize on a melancholy tune about a bittersweet breakup and drunken yearning, and on "Love This Pain," Kelley shows off his vocal slyness and rough tenor with the accompaniment of lively guitar strings and pounding drums. And tracks like the riff-heavy, rock'n'roll romp "Stars Tonight" and the delicate arrangement of "Ready to Love Again" highlight the trio's musical growth. The new set-Lady A's follow-up to its self-titled debut in 2008-showcases the group's ability to combine its own contemporary country sound and folk-rock flair with a familiar formula, making it a refreshing addition to the ever-expanding country genre....full text
LatimesblogsIn today's real American South, Jello shots are just as prevalent as Jack Daniels, and a game gal like Hillary Scott is as likely to lust after a guy "in black pearl buttons, lookin' just like Springsteen" as she is a Johnny Cash type. After all, the New Jersey rocker copped his style partly from the Man in Black.
Lady Antebellum -- the rising country-pop trio in which Scott shares vocal duties with the perpetually pearl-buttoned Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, who handles background vocals and guitar -- is a product of the post-Faith and Tim New South of two-career marriages and relatively guilt-free premarital hook-ups. But its impressively well-considered second album reveals a connection to the craftsmanship and flair for sordid detail that's served country artists since the heyday of George and Tammy and Dolly and Porter....full text
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