June 14, 2017 Lady Antebellum – Heart Break (Album Review)
Give your heart a vacation – but keep it close to home! – while preparing to enjoy summertime and welcoming the return of Lady Antebellum. Thanks to Capitol Records Nashville, on June 9th the addictive trio returned to weave new tales and continue to soar to new heights on Heart Break.
In the world of Country music, Lady Antebellum require no introduction. Formed in Nashville in 2006, the trio released their debut, eponymous album in 2008, and the rest has been an impressively melodic history. Since then, they have gone on to release six studio albums – from 2010’s Need You Now to 2014’s 747 – and have shared stages with all the luminaries of the genre, from Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney to Keith Urban and Martina McBride. A crossover sensation, Lady Antebellum have charted from Country to Adult Contemporary and back, taking home multiple Grammy Awards as well as a healthy dose of Academy of Country Music Awards. Always much lauded and highly beloved the world over, the group have sold some 10 million albums in the U.S. alone in their eleven-year career.
Back from a two-year hiatus, Lady Antebellum – Vocalists Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, and Multi-Instrumentalist Dave Haywood – have recently offered up their seventh full-length, studio offering, Heart Break via Capitol Records Nashville. Produced by busbee (Keith Urban, Lauren Alaina), the (lucky) thirteen-song collection is glorious Adult Contemporary music tinged with infectious Pop sensibilities, all steeped in the storytelling magic and core values that are totally Nashville.
Heart Break kicks off with its namesake, a mid-tempo little ditty about enjoying being single for the summer and giving that overworked, mega-muscle a vacation from pain. California sunshine infuses with Lady Antebellum’s signature Pop/Country fusion on this wonderfully fun celebration of singlehood and summertime. The album’s first single/video, “You Look Good,” trots out the massive swagger, complete with a horn section and all kinds of party-club vibes. Grab the posse and get ready to celebrate lookin’ fine! When the night ends and you are gazing in the mirror, forced to admit that you are afraid to give your heart away again, Lady A have you covered with “Somebody Else’s Heart,” a beautiful ballad about fear and loving (but not specifically in Las Vegas).
The fully infectious “This City” is a Country/Folk fusion that sounds like a stroll down the streets of Nashville on a beautiful summer night. It moves the threesome into the poignant forewarning to not be reckless with your love, “Hurt.” Complete with strings, the ballad is an emotionally heart-wrenching tribute to chances taken and love lost that will hit home for anyone who has ever suffered a bloody battle of the heart. On the subject of battles, as we all already know, behind every good man is an even greater woman, and Kelley pays tribute to this fact of life in the beautiful “Army.”
Walking away from dramas of the heart, Lady Antebellum take the time to feel good and celebrate being alive with the superbly upbeat Pop track “Good Time To Be Alive.” They promise that they are not giving their ex any second thoughts on “Think About You,” a catchy offering that is infectious, danceable, and a bit of an oxymoron. Scott and Kelley’s voices soar on the beautiful ballad “Big Love in a Small Town,” a tale of youthful adventures in Smalltown, America, complete with slide guitar. It is followed by the equally gorgeous ballad “Stars” and nostalgia-filled “Teenage Heart.” When we are truly in love, we are quick to find “Home” in another person and this lesson moves the album to its curious conclusion, a melancholic ode to the pains of being “Famous.”
Lady Antebellum present infectious melodies woven into delicious Pop/Adult Contemporary tracks that are steeped in the traditions of Nashville. Gorgeous ballads sit alongside infectious dance-worthy tracks on Heart Break, a wonderful collection of sunshine that serves to remind listeners why Lady Antebellum are so darn good at what they do! Ready to celebrate summer but clutching our hearts close, CrypticRock give Lady Antebellum’s Heart Break 4 of 5 stars.