Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Album Review: Lady Antebellum - Need You Now (3.5/5)

Lady Antebellum; the next biggest act in country music sure have been going strength to strength during these last couple weeks. Their sophomore album Need You Now; an instant success with a debut at number-one shifting nearly half a million copies in its first week and is set to remain there this week. Their a cool country band, lead singer Hillary Scott has a nice voice and the harmonies with the rest of the band are really pleasing to the ear, however with some good hooks and melodies, nothing on Need You Now sets them apart from the hundreds of other country acts out there, however more than enough of the album works to overlook it.

The breezy country-pop of title track "Need You Now," sets the tone with a light blusterous chorus, nicely blending harmonies behind the drums, guitars and strings. It could be their first crossover hit as it continues to rise at top forty radio--set to be the albums biggest hit so far, it's definitely not the albums best track. Following is "Our Kind of Love" which embodies a jaunty arrangement of bold piano chords and drums and a constraining hook, the mid-section is awesome as the electronic guitars stutter behind a cute harmonisation. It's one of the best songs on here. Very invigorating.

"American Honey" is your typical country ballad, with swooning violins, banjos and drums however more about the story than the sound, talking about growth and returing back childhood. Charles Kelley takes the lead on ballad "Hello World," starting very subtle with angelic piano keys and soft and pacing guitar line but soon picks up towards the middle as the piano and drums gradualy become more bold. It's beautifully composed as it arrives to its climax with all the orchestration intact. It's another one of my favorites.

"Perfect Day" embraces a cool summery vibe as I guess the title would imply, expressed a very jaunty composition and some quirky lyrics ("I hopped into the back of a jacked up jeep, with the wind on my face"). It's not a personal favorite however it's one of those songs I'd like listen to while driving down the A2 on a summers day. "Love This Pain" isn't as musically arresting as some of previous tracks. Very uninteresting and bland, follow-up "When You Got a Good Thing," is a pretty lovely ballad.

I like the Rock 'n' Roll meets country vibe on "Stars Tonight," it's chorus is very anthem-styled, like a more uptempo version of Shania Twain's "Nah." "If I Knew Then," is another ballad more along the lines of "When You Got a Good Thing," it sounds good but probably a case of too much on here. "Something 'Bout a Woman," is very boldly country with quirky banjos, violins and a fast-paced drum line. I like the added piano keys, it works really well. Harmonies are awesome too.

Closing the album is piano-driven "Ready to Love Again," which builds up to a pretty dramatic climax. I really like this. I have nothing bad to say about the album, almost every track is enjoyable. It's definately more consitent than their self-titled debut, my only problem is whilst they make quite good music, I still don't see anything different to the other country acts out there, I'm sure Dixie Chicks or Rascal Flatts could turn out an album like this or better, but in all it's a decent album.

Best: Our Kind of Love, Hello World, Need You Now, Ready to Love Again, Stars Tonight, Perfect Day


ww_adh said...

So, you gave this a try? I imagine my review will be similar. It's good, but probably not a "4." We'll see. The Sade album, on the other hand, is dynamite. Loving that.

J.Mensah said...

It's really good isn't it! What's your favorite track so far? When I first heard it last week, I really loved "Another Time," but now it's the title track.

ww_adh said...

"In Another Time" is a lovely song. I'm actually rather partial to "Babyfather." The "your daddy knows" refrain is really catchy, and I like the more upbeat melody.