Lady Antebellum prefaced the release of Need You Now by issuing its title track as a single; it reached the top spot on the country charts and stayed there for five straight weeks. It was their second number one, and they wasted no time following it with "American Honey," which appeared a mere two months before this set was in stores. This singing/songwriting trio -- lead vocalists Charles Kelly and Hillary Scott, with multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist Dave Haywood -- understand how Nashville works, and they know how to work it. On their sophomore effort, they stick very close to the formula of their debut: a slew of mid- and uptempo love songs, a sad ballad, and a couple of rocked-up good-time tunes, all self-written with some help from some of Nashville's most respected writers. Kelly's baritone is emotive, expressive, and deep in the pocket, no matter what he's singing. He shines on the soft rocking "Love This Pain," which could have been a single. Scott's voice is a little less distinctive, but she does possess a unique form of phrasing and reaches deeply into her protagonist's personal situations, whether it's the celebratory good-time girl in "American Honey" or the wildly-in-love mature woman on "Hold on Tight." The group party anthem on the set -- an obligatory addition these days -- is "Stars Tonight," which contains more than a few clich‚s, but has a killer guitar riff and an infectious chorus. With co-production from Paul Worley, Lady Antebellum prove there is no sophomore slump on Need You Now. Here, the band's seamless, polished, and savvy brand of contemporary country is even more consistent than it was on their debut; it's virtually flawless in its songwriting, production, and performance. ~ Thom Jurek
Entertainment Weekly (p.68) - "Charles Kelley's and Hillary Scott's voices intertwine with a piercing white-soul lilt that feels uniquely theirs." -- Grade: B+
I was really excited for the release of this album. After such a great debut album I expected a lot from this group. While the overall content on the CD is good, I am a little disappointed because something just isn't clicking as perfectly this time around. On their debut album I gave them five stars. For this one they get four because there are a couple of flub songs on here, which I felt the previous album didn't have. So lets get the bad songs out of the way first shall we?
Hello World - (1/10) While some people may like this song, (A guy in another review) I just can't seem to make myself like it. Charles sings lead in this one, or from what I have heard of it. My imaginary ADHD kicks on during this song and my brain disengages. I've tried to listen to it a few times but, honestly I can't tell you what it's about because I always end up skipping it, or thinking about other things when it's playing. Why, you make ask? Well the arrangement is dreadfully boring, Charles does nothing to impress me with his vocals in this one, and the tune is just to slow and long (5:26)! I have no problem with long songs but when the song is boring and uneventful it makes it kind of painful. Why this song is on here is beyond me, as they usually use their own songs but, Tom Douglas, David Lee & Tony Lane wrote this song...whoever they are :P
Stars Tonight - (4/10) This song doesn't spin me either, it's hard to relate to. It's basically telling us were all stars tonight at their concert (La Te Da)...this song might actually work if you were at a Lady Antebellum concert in the moment, but on the CD it's cliche in a back rock concert kinda way, and basically pointless. It feels like a filler song to me, although it may have a better effect when the song is sung live.
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