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i have to admit i had never heard of this country / soft rock group , i saw an advert on tv
and thought i would just go out and buy it
i will say i did not except it to be a good listen at all but i was very happy when i listened to the album all the way through
Songs which stick out for me are Need you now , the lead singers compliment each other the song is passionate . Run to you is another great song , it starts off slow , the vocals and lyrics are amazing
the song speeds up after the first 30 seconds , Another one that is sticks out for me is hello world
it is a sad song but has a good meaning behind it yet again the two lead singers both compliment each other . Just listen to the lyrics simply amazing
Even before I'd heard a single note they played, I knew I was likely to enjoy Lady Antebellum. I've long been a fan of rock music and recent years have developed a greater appreciation in me for the country music I grew up listening to thanks to my Dad. I've always enjoyed the country-rock sound of The Jayhawks and recently have become a fan of country-pop, having liked the Dixie Chicks over several albums and recently adding the likes of Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and the Courtyard Hounds to my CD collection.
So hearing that Lady Antebellum were a country-rock trio was always likely to float my musical boat. It seems I'm not alone in this thought, with their second album "Need You Now" winning the Best Country Album aware at the 2011 Grammy Awards and the lead single, also the title track, picking up the Grammy for Record of the Year. Shortly after purchase, the aforementioned "Need You Now" quickly became one of the most played songs on my iTunes, but sitting down and listening to the album properly showed that they are much more than one song.
The album opens with the title track and Grammy Award winning "Need You Now". As an introduction to Lady Antebellum, this is the perfect track. The guitar riff has a 1980s stadium rock feel, reminding me of Def Leppard's "Animal" quite early on. The vocals have a country feel to them, though, which mixes the two genres very well, giving this a definite country-rock feel, not too dissimilar to the Jayhawks, only with a female vocal. I've loved this track from the first play and the novelty certainly hasn't worn off even after many repeats.
"Our Kind of Love" is an interesting combination between pop-rock and country, with the male vocals sounding like Rob Thomas and the female having more of a country feel. This has the feel of Matchbox Twenty doing a duet with Leann Rimes or Taylor Swift. It's a decent upbeat up tempo pop- rock tune with country undertones. It's not as good as "Need You Now", but it's a decent song, as was proved when it was selected as the third single from the album.
Sandwiched between the two previous songs in terms of the order they were released as singles is "American Honey". In my opinion this is the weakest track so far, although that doesn't make it a bad song by any means. There's a much slower tempo to this song and the music has a greater country influence this time around. Apart from the male vocal, the song has a country-pop feel with vocal harmonies that makes me think of the Dixie Chicks. For me, this isn't a bad thing at all, as I'm a huge Dixie Chicks fan.
The fourth track and the fourth single from the album is "Hello World". This is an entirely different sound to the album thus far, heavily weighted towards the piano and strings, with far more of a pop feel than any of the other tracks and with precious little country influence present at all. It's a well crafted song, but doesn't offer too much new, sounding a lot like some of Matchbox Twenty's more expansive ballads. It's also the longest track on the album and as it's at a slower tempo than many of the others so far, it does seem to last a little too long as it doesn't vary much in tone or tempo. I can see why this was the fourth single, as it's not typical of Lady Antebellum in either sound or energy and certainly wouldn't encourage people to buy the album in as great numbers as "Need You Now" did.
There's a lovely bass drive opening to "Perfect Day" before the guitar comes in and it's clear immediately that the country sound is back. This is a really jaunty little country-pop tune with a fun guitar riff running through it. The male vocals are reduced to the background here and that makes this sound a little like a Taylor Swift song, although with a slightly rockier edge that her usual sound, which I have no problem with at all.
There's quite a stadium rock feel to the guitar intro to "Love This Pain". Once again, the male vocal makes this sound a little like Matchbox Twenty and the pop-rock guitar riff early on only adds to that feeling, as that's a sound they've used on some of their songs. The chorus takes the edge off the song a little, as the vocal harmonies add a slight country twang to the song and give it a little less of a rock feel, but it's still a decent track, but not one of my favourites.
The tempo drops considerably for "When You Got a Good Thing", which is the first proper ballad on the album. The vocals are mixed up, which gives it the feel of a duet. Once again, the male vocal has a pop-rock feel and the female vocal adds a country twang. The song as a whole is largely a fairly straight pop ballad without too much of a country influence. This isn't one of my favourite songs, and it's again quite a long one and seems to drag slightly by the end.
There's a really rock influenced intro to "Stars Tonight", which I'm a big fan of. The theme of the song reminds me a little of Carrie Underwood's "Crazy Dreams" and the vocal does have a similar sound to it. This could well be a Carrie Underwood track if it weren't for the male vocal, but that does add a rock edge to turn this into an upbeat and up-tempo country-rock song and it's exactly the kind of sound I both expected to and was delighted to find when I started listening to Lady Antebellum.
"If I Knew Then" slows the tempo down to ballad level again and a little like "When You Got a Good Thing", this is a pretty standard pop ballad. The strings help give the song a more rounded feel and works well on the type of song this is, but it adds nothing particularly new to the pantheon of the pop ballad and sounds exactly like the kind of thing you'd hear closing out a film or a TV show. It's certainly a decent example of the pop ballad, but doesn't stand out as being a Lady Antebellum song.
What does stand out as being a Lady Antebellum song is the next one up, "Lookin' For a Good Time". It seems that we're alternating between pop ballads and country rock stompers and this is certainly in the latter category. There's a great driving beat to this song which makes it perfect to listen to when running, except that I keep wanting to stop and dance. Much like "Stars Tonight", this could be a Carrie Underwood song, although this time around it would probably be "Last Name", except without the regret. This is a great track and the only downside to it being that it was also on the band's first album, so it's not entirely new.
As sure as day follows night, so "Ready to Love Again" is a pop influenced ballad. Don't get me wrong, these are all decent songs, but the predictability of the songs is getting a little boring by this point. There's a lovely stripped down feel to the start of this song, with just the piano and the vocal. Once again, it's a sweet enough song and beautifully performed, but just another pop ballad. I think this is one of the better ones on the album, but as ballad fatigue has started to set in by this point, it's difficult to give it a fair judgement.
The UK bonus track is "I Run to You" and as it's a bonus track, having another song that also featured on the first album doesn't leave me feeling quite so hard done by. It's more of a mid-tempo song than an all out country-rock song, but the opening sounds a little like something Def Leppard did and the vocals make it sound like Bruce Springsteen doing a duet with Leann Rimes. Apart from it being a shame this song has appeared elsewhere previously, this is certainly a decent way to close the album.
Even allowing for the slight predictability of the track order late on the album and the minor disappointment that two of the 12 tracks have been borrowed from the debut album, this is a wonderful album. I'd go so far as to say that this is probably the second best country rock album I have ever heard, bettered only by Lady Antebellum's own debut. If you have any interest in country music and especially country-rock music, this is a must have.
There are touches of Matchbox Twenty with a country twang, but this would also appeal to fans of the Jayhawks and those fans of Taylor Swift, Leann Rimes or Carrie Underwood who can handle a little more of a rock touch in their country music than they usually provide. As fans of all of the above, I loved this album and thought I got decent value when I picked it up in a 2 for £10.00 deal in HMV. But it can be had even cheaper, from £1.99 including postage from eBay or from £3.99 from Amazon and Play for a brand new copy. For 12 tracks and 47 minutes of quality music, this is superb value and I can see this will be on repeat on my iPhone for many years to come.
I am a big country fan and I recently stumbled across the group Lady Antebellum. The best way to listen to country in my opinion is driving across the America desert in a massive car with the stereo blaring and this is how I listened to this album for hours on end this summer.
Apparently they have been around since 2006 and the album that I thought was their first is actually their second. According to an article I read, they were formed in Nashville, Tennessee where a lot of the great country singers come from. The trio is composed of Charles Kelley (lead and background vocals), Dave Haywood (background vocals, guitar, piano, mandolin) and Hillary Scott (lead and background vocals).
What really attracted me to this band to being with was Hillary's amazing voice, she has a really smooth deep sound to her voice that really works well in harmony with the other band members. She has a real country twang to her voice too and they sound really authentic but I think offer something new in the country scene.
Their second album, Need You Now, was released on January 26, 2010 and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 481,000 copies sold in its first week. It has been certified double-platinum by the RIAA. The album begins with the title song, Need You Now which talks about a break up but two people still thinking about each other and wanting each other. It has a great strong lyric, "it's a quarter after 1" as the lead in to the chorus and this sticks in your mind when you hear the song.
The album has a really nice mix of fast, toe-tapping country songs as well as more slow love songs too. America Honey was just released as their third single from the album and refers to a girl growing up and that she is the American honey. Track number 9, "If I knew then," is a really beautiful love song with some really touching words, about how love only comes once in a while and that you should hold onto it and treat it special.
They have done really well in the awards category too and I can definitely see why. According to an article I read, they were awarded Top New Duo or Group in 2009 by the Academy of Country Music and New Artist of the Year in 2008 by the Country Music Association. They were nominated for two Grammy Awards at the 2009 51st Grammy Awards; and two more at the 2010 52nd Grammy Awards.Of these nominations, they took home the award for Best Country Performance by Duo or Group with Vocals for "I Run to You". More recently on April 18, 2010, the group was awarded Top Vocal Group, Song of the Year ("Need You Now"), and Single of the Year ("Need You Now") at the 45th ACM Awards.
The word Antebellum means before the war and I was a bit confused as to why they chose this name for their band but apparently it has nothing to do with that. Actually, the name Antebellum comes from when the group were photographing "antebellum" homes. The antebellum architectural style describes the large plantation homes in the American South. While photographing the houses one of the group said that there's a great band name in there, and they adopted the Lady Antebellum name shortly after.
To me, there are no weak links on this album, all the songs are great. The rest of the tracks on the album are as follows:
1. "Need You Now"
2. "Our Kind of Love"
3. "American Honey"
4. "Hello World"
5. "Perfect Day"
6. "Love This Pain"
7. "When You Got a Good Thing"
8. "Stars Tonight"
9. "If I Knew Then"
10. "Something 'Bout a Woman"
11. "Ready to Love Again"
After living in the deep south for nine months it's safe to say that I heard a lot of country music being played on the radio as we drove to football and ballgames, no music was as satisfying to listen to though than Lady Antebellum and they're pretty big in the states.
So imagine my surprise when I saw their CD's on sale in the UK! I was overjoyed to see this little slice of America on the shelves and while America is known as the world's largest exporter of music, I hope Lady A. don't get overlooked simply because they're playing 'country' music.
Yes, this album and their second is full of country tunes but when you hear lyrics from American Honey you can't help but be transported back to the deep south and those long hot summer days where all you want to do is lie in the long grass and listen to some country tunes (check out the music video for the reference on youtube).
Safe to say Lady Antebellum's lyrics embrace everything that is known to the south of America. Even though they're originally from Nashville I always think of Louisiana when I hear their songs and I'm immediately back in the place that I called home for nine months.
I have a hard time believing however that this group will be a big success in the UK because we just don't do country, we don't have that country lifestyle here so it seems a little lost on us. Plus it's not overly cool to say that you listen to country music although with the help of the likes of Taylor Swift this may all soon be changing.
There's also a nice change between male and female vocals so it's appealing to both genders in a way that other country music doesn't tend to be (after all how many men do you know listen to Taylor Swift?) but with Lady A. it's an album you can listen to on a romantic evening or on a long car journey.
So the next time you're in a music store or browsing Youtube type in Lady Antebellum and give them a go, if you like Taylor Swift then it's likely that you'll like these guys as well and will be transported to the wonderful world of the American South where life is laid back and everything that the American Dream aspires to be.
Songs of recommendation: American Honey, Need You Now.
Among those who regularly say "Wow, how could I ever hope to be as cool as Fizzywizzy?" there will be much raising of eyebrows when I say that "Need you now", the latest album by (the almost too beautiful) "Lady Antebellum" has been played an indecent number of times at the Fizzywizzy computer this week. In the UK it is pretty much regarded that country is not "cool" - certainly not the type of country that sells skip loads in the States - but call it Americana and you can (almost) get away with it.
Lady Antebellum belong to - or at least have been parcelled with - the country rock/Americana scene and it was through some severe pushing by Bob Harris (is the great whispering one on the LA payroll?) who played the hugely catchy title track on both his country and more general shows. For my money Lady Antebellum are Fleetwood Mac with pedal steel, or they would be if they would only get over their obvious reluctance to go too much down the country road. Instead they maintain the Fleetwood Mac vibe by employing a profusion of boy-girl call and reply vocals and throwing in plenty of rock guitar riffs and some mammoth solos to labour the point that they aren't really country, thank you very much.
While the Fleetwood Mac allusions just cannot be tamed, there are snippets that take you right back to the eighties with names like J Geils Band, Heart and Tom Petty springing to mind. This is such a "big" sound that it couldn't be anything other than American; this is road, trips, open topped cars, straight teeth and tanned faces. How many cliches can you cram into one album? Bruce Springsteen must be fearing his record is in danger! "Our Kind of Love" is a case in point with open highways, Freebirds and jamming on riverbanks making us all wish we were gorgeous, carefree Californians. Seriously, it's a terribly cheesy song but it hits its peak with a frantic bashing of drums before inexplicably morphing into rock bluegrass with some brilliant fiddle.
Having heard Bob Harris play the single "Need You Now" for what seemed like an eternity, I was hooked on the song but I was amazed to hear it played with even more frequency on Radio Slovenia International, a station famed not just for playing an eclectic range of mediocrity but for playing it non-stop for years. If you only knew how often Kid Rock's (frighteningly catchy) take on Sweet Home Alabama was played, years after it came out, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was riding high in the charts. It wasn't until I returned from Slovenia and looked Lady Antebellum up on the internet that I learned that - in the States at least - this album is massive. Their rise has been meteoric: selling one million albums in the first month of release alone is something many established artists would be chuffed to achieve.
"I saw a Cajun man with a red guitar, singing on the side of the side of the street; I threw a handful of change in his beat up case and said play me that country beat". Sing these lyrics to a slightly pepped up Sweet Home Alabama and you have the measure of track 5, "Perfect Day". This is one of those highly melodic tracks that seems to have been perfectly engineered to make good radio airplay and to be a big hit with live audiences with its stop starts and tempo changes which will allow for prolonged clapping and "na na na" sing-a-longs.
"Love this pain" which starts with a terrifyingly crass "C'mon" is another irritatingly catchy (but then again, so are scabies) song and it's perhaps the most insightful lyric-wise which isn't saying much in a world heavily populated by American triteness. The overriding fact is that Lady Antebellum are pushing the mass market buttons, appealing to the herd instinct and throwing in plenty of opportunities for chanting and air punching. Take "Stars Tonight"; a song which proclaims that on this particular night we're all part of the band - I can see the nachos and corn dogs being put down for (just) long enough for some seriously yee-hawing and whooping when this number hits its climax at live shows (incidentally, I would love to know if anyone else thinks the intro to this song is "Nashville meets the Clash").
The other way in which Lady Antebellum scream seriously manufactured is in this heavy reliance of American themes: a love song is a love song in any language, it's just that Lady Antebellum's are peppered with Americanisms. Hell, Track 2 "American Honey" can only be a cynical attempt to ensure that music librarians everywhere pull this song from the archives every time some kind of celebration of America is required on television. Americans (and I mean not to offend), it seems to me, like to whoop themselves into a frenzy at the mere mention of America - just look at Springsteen's iconic "Born in the USA" for proof of how just slipping the word "American" in a song pays dividends.
"When you got a good thing" is the track that hints that there might be a little more depth to Lady Antebellum. I adore the melancholic pedal steel, at last giving some justification for the country connections and for once the guitar sound is understated. The thing that is remarkable about the song is that it has an extremely positive sentiment yet it has quite a sad sound. Similarly "If I knew then", formulaic as it is, is a pleasing relief from the relentless Shania Twain tinged upbeat numbers but it all turns pear-shaped with the following track which starts off promisingly with some blue grass twang but descends into awful Bruce Hornsby piano.
The lady of the trio, Hillary Scott, is an undoubted talent and she has a powerful voice that is able to translate well across the genres. Her singing male counterpart, Charles Kelley, however, tries just a bit too hard for my liking and makes even the upbeat songs seem like hard work. There is a third band member, but I like to look upon him as Lady Antebellum's version of Ken from Bros. I've read several times that he favours pearl buttons (make of that what you will).
Sadly Lady Antebellum don't match the promise offered by the title track. "Need You Now" is a song that will get regular airplay for the next decade at least but there is also a strong likelihood that Simon Cowell will force two of his 'orrible little protégés to cover it to death. If only the album was a little less calculating and concentrated on what the band do best - understated ballads with a tinge of country. Instead they have taken the easy - but lucrative - blanket airplay route with the speedy success that this achieves. A little less style and a bit more substance are all it takes. If only they could be a bit more plaid and a lot less leather they would have the makings of something long-lasting and successful. All in all, eleven tracks of mixed quality, but only one stand out number.
Check out the photos of the band on these pages: the first is what they should look like, the second what they unfortunately do look like.
Having been a massive fan of Taylor Swift, Tyler Hilton and Jon Mclaughlin, I was recommended this album. That was a week ago, and I have been listening to it ever since.
Lady Antebellum are a country trio of two male vocalists and one female. There music is quite upbeat and incredibly catchy. Each of the members voices compliment each other very well, sometimes having Charles Kelley as the lead vocalist but mostly with Hillary Scott taking the reigns.
Standout tracks on the album are the title track 'Need you now' which I guartentee you will be humming for days after, 'Perfect Day' which has enviable guitar action and 'Lookin for a good time' about a guilt-free hang up.
The only downside is that some of the songs sound a little repetitive. But personally I find that an element that alot of country music has so it doesn't bother me too much.
If you don't know about buying the album right out without having listened to it, Youtube 'Need you now' their latest single which is currently doing very well in the U.K.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Need You Now
2 Our Kind Of Love
3 American Honey
4 Hello World
5 Perfect Day
6 Love This Pain
7 When You Got A Good Thing
8 Stars Tonight
9 If I Knew Then
10 Lookin' For A Good Time
11 Ready To Love Again
12 I Run To You