Country music’s reigning Vocal Group of the Year, Lady Antebellum, released their highly anticipated sophomore album, Need You Now, on Tuesday and it’s no doubt going to rake in some big numbers during its first week.
Having listened to the album online before it was officially released, I had a fairly good idea what to write about. However, like any other album, it takes more than one listen to fully review an album. My first impression of the album was that it is a continuation of their platinum selling debut album. The group brings their unique sounds to every song on the album and continues to raise the bar in how to do country-pop right.
The song that stood out the most to me was the album’s highlight, “Hello World.” A thought provoking song about being reintroduced to the world after seemingly leaving it mentally. Band member Charles Kelley takes the lead on this song and his voice adds so much to the song. Sung entirely over a piano and strings, the song builds and builds to a big climax where the narrator sees himself with a family after finally learning to see the small things in life. The production is fairly simple with just the piano and strings but it could be toned down just a bit at the end where the strings take over in a bit of over dramatism. I would love to hear this song as a single but it would be difficult seeing the song is over 5 minutes long.
Another instant favorite of mine was the pop leaning “Love This Pain.” A song about loving someone even though they continue to hurt you over and over. Once again, Kelley takes the lead on this one and its a perfect fit for his voice. He brings the soul and emotion needed to pull off a song like this. In fact, I don’t think I can see anyone but Lady A pulling this song off seeing as it falls into their realm of catchy hooks and great melodies. Look for this to be one of the singles to be released off this album.
Speaking of great hooks and catchy lyrics, the pop-country duet, “Stars Tonight” is another great one off the album. It’s a song about going out and having a great time and becoming “stars.” The beat is fantastic and it’s just a great feel good song! One you can crank the volume up and sing as loud as you can! I know I’ve been doing that already! The song could deal without the group “yeah’s” at the end but then again it doesnt take away from the song…it only makes it more fun!
The album as a whole is a solid follow-up to a massively successful debut album. It’s filled with tender ballads and plenty of uptempo songs. The flow of the album is great and the production, though very country-pop, is just as good. If you’re a fan of mainstream country, this album is a must have. Look for Lady Antebellum to continue their rise to country superstardom with this fantastic album!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars