Dear Little Big Town, I need to admit it: I officially have a full blown “Girl Crush” on you. It’s been something that’s been growing ever since the first time I saw you as the opening act for Sugarland in New York City back in 2007. I already knew a few of your songs at that time, but it was then that the crush began. With your unparalleled harmonies and infectious stage presence, I’d marry all four of you if that was legal and not totally creepy.
Over the years, my infatuation has never truly wavered, but with the release of your sixth studio album, Pain Killer, and your subsequent album release show last night, my crush has returned in full force. From the opening strains of the earwormy “Quit Breaking Up With Me,” it becomes immediately apparent that this isn’t a typical Little Big Town record. In fact, Pain Killer, produced by Jay Joyce, picks up where Tornado left off, stretching LBT even further creatively and yes, harmonically.
While most vocal groups rely heavily on one singer to lead the way, LBT stands out due to the fact that they are four uniquely and supremely talented individuals, each on display on this album. Look for Jimi Westbrook to take lead on “Tumble and Fall” and Karen Fairchild to smolder on “Girl Crush.” Phillip Sweet’s baritone is booming on “Faster Gun” and Kimberly Schlapman adds her sweet tone perfectly to “Good People.” However, as talented as they are as individuals, the group shines beyond any other due to their stratospheric harmonies, as polished and perfect as ever here. While every track on the disc is tight and crisp, the foursome’s harmonies shine through on “Live Forever,” “Silver and Gold,” and the aforementioned “Tumble and Fall.”
There’s the first single, the catchy whistle track “Day Drinking,” but that far from defines Pain Killer. Little Big Town pushes its sound further than before on tracks like the testosterone-driven “Faster Gun” and the irresistible “Stay All Night,” perfect to close every show of theirs from now until the end of time. “Turn the Lights On” is a Fleetwood Mac-esque stomper, with mid-tempo verses and a rollicking chorus that prohibits any listener from sitting still, while the album’s title-track is a breezy ode to feeling good complete with a section of “la la la la la”-s.
Once upon a time, Little Big Town was the best-kept secret in country music, a band whose pitch-perfect harmonies were so flawless that they were most often relegated to the role of the best go-to background vocalists in Nashville. However, that time has passed and their time to shine is now. From the opening chords of “Quit Breaking Up With Me” to the twisting turns of “Girl Crush” through the hauntingly gorgeous “Live Forever” to the closing notes of “Silver and Gold,” it’s apparent that the LBT’s “Pontoon” isn’t sinking any time soon.
Watch the video for Little Big Town’s “Day Drinking” here!
Follow me on Twitter @NicolePiering and let me know if you have any questions or comments!
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