CD Review of Lady Antebellum by Lady Antebellum
Recommended if you like
Sugarland, Dixie Chicks, Little Big Town
Capitol Nashville Records
Lady Antebellum:
Lady Antebellum

Reviewed by Red Rocker


n less than one year, Lady Antebellum have graduated from an opening spot on Jack Ingram’s $10 ticket to supporting arena behemoths Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney, playing the Grand Ole Opry, and, most recently, watching their debut self-titled album and hit single “Love Don’t Live Here” light up country and even crossover charts like the 4th of July. This Nashville trio (by way of North Carolina, Georgia, and other regions) has only been together for a couple of years, yet their distinctive three-part harmony vocals reek of savvy veterans. Tearing pages from the books of fellow mod-country newcomers like Little Big Town and Sugarland, with similarly addictive multi-part harmonies, these two schoolmates (Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley) and Southern belle (Hillary Scott) have been building great expectations.

Lady A has the look of profitability -- clean, young, and cute. Their first video for the ultra-catchy “Love Don’t Live Here” has been a fixture on CMT and GAC for months. And while they must be sick of playing the brand-name track, it’s far from the only worthwhile track on the debut. Indeed, there are another two or three radio-ready hits, including the equally-spirited “Lookin’ for a Good Time” and “Love’s Lookin’ Good on You” (the only song they didn’t write), waiting in the on-deck circle for the bases to clear. “All We’d Ever Need” fills the sappy ballad slot, “Long Gone” is the liberating girl empowerment anthem to fuel the live shows, and “Slow Down Sister” displays the rock n’ roll teeth which hide way in the back of Lady Antebellum’s chops.

In fairness, mega-producer Paul Worley and award-winning songwriter Victoria Shaw are to be credited with a meaningful silent partner role in this breakout debut. The songs are soulful, inspiring, and as squeaky clean as the band itself. The production is tailor-made for what country is in 2008. Headliner Martina McBride told a recent audience on their joint tour, “You can say you saw them when!” Lady A is sort of like Google’s stock at $150/share -- you just know they’re bound for bigger and better things. This debut album is built for a two or three-year marathon of touring and extended radio play. It should sell like bottled water at the sweltering summer festivals. Buy now!

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