It’s been quite a while since Lady Antebellum‘s music has excited me like this. That’s not to say that their last few albums were bad but I just found them lacking that true Lady A Magic that made them one of the best bands in the world.
Right away as soon as first track What If I Never Get Over You kicks in I found myself suddenly transported back to the first two albums and I was absolutely delighted. This song has such a classic Lady A edge with those beautiful harmonies that I actually fell in love with them all over again and realised just how much I had missed them.
Pictures with Hilary as lead vocal also really grabbed me. It is so nice to hear them making music that I actually believe as I felt some previous tracks from recent albums being a little too “young” for them and I know that sounds awful but what I mean is I didn’t believe the stories they were singing about necessarily. Pictures is relevant to anyone really. With social media being quite dominant in peoples lives, we believe everything we see in pictures and often assume people are happy. It’s a sad song to relate to really when so many of us have those relationship pictures that are now so very hard to look at but once made us so happy.
No one sounds like Charles Kelley and Hilary Scott, no one ever could. If there were two voices that were meant to be together it was these too. Crazy Love really makes their vocals shine. A song by title that I assumed would be more cheesy ended up being a beautiful ballad with a strong traditional country sound and a slight Church Music edge. The instrumentation on this track is so deliciously infectious that I know I will play it again and again and I am already picturing the live version. It has a wintery feel to it too which is perfect.
Things get rockier with You Can Do You but with real country rock. Another exciting classic Lady A styled song that you can’t help but crank up loud and dance around the living room. The piano segment is so jazzy it’s wonderful and has a slight Elton John esque to it. This song live will be electrifying and you just know the energy will be insane. I see this as the last song on their set list before the encore.
What I’m Leaving For – Is there a sweeter voice than Hilary’s? This gorgeous ballad gives me all the feels. The lyrics are deep and meaningful and paint a picture. This song will make you cry. At first I thought it was about a sick parent having to leave the family and go to heaven but then I realised it was about leaving the family to make a living and not being able to do it of they didn’t know “What I’m Leaving For”. Truly wonderful lyrics though which you would expect from Laura Veltz alone but also from her co-writers Sam Ellis and Micah Premnath.
Be Patient With My Love has a strong Folk edge to it. The song is perfect in its simplicity and really hits you like past album cuts/singles from the trio used to. Same is said for Let It Be Love which has a Hello World way about it. Hello World is one of the best songs from Lady Antebellum and for me, the most important part of their live show and the most magical and I feel Let It Be Love will have a similar impact.
Alright lyrically speaks out to everyone who has a bad day. The first lyric ” I ain’t feelin’ pretty, what I wanna wear don’t fit me And it’s messin’ with the way I see myself” is something we have all felt and often.
On A Night Like This brings another sensational piano ballad from the group. I need to hear this song acoustically. So so much of this album screams live setting. This track makes me want to get the Christmas decorations out and gather the family around the log fire with mulled wine and hot chocolate. I have chills listening to it. Potential wedding song for many I think.
That Lady A energy in some of their songs, there’s nothing quite like it. Those country lovin’ hits like Love Don’t Live Here spring back in the song Boots. This showcases their signature sound that is just so dang scrumptious.
Anyone who collaborates with Little Big Town are geniuses in my mind but having two of the best vocal groups in the world on a track together, does it get much better than this? LBT have had Lady A’s crown for a while now but they are back on par with this album as they should be and celebrating each others music, artistry which is beautiful. This song is an attention grabber with the title alone. The Thing That Wrecks You. All these voices are sublime together and has an old fashioned feel to it. I feel Abba, I feel Fleetwood Mac but most importantly I feel Lady A and LBT and in their most earliest sense which is where, in my opinion they were their best. This atmospheric song in many ways does wreck you but in the best way, what a song! Harmonies on point!
Mansion lifts us up again with its more uptempo melody. My least favourite on the album. It isn’t a bad song but I think doesn’t fit/flow well with the rest of the album. It has a slight R&B way about it which Hilary kills vocally but I just feel it’s not as good as the rest of the album which has so far blown me away.
Ending with title track Ocean and ending beautifully so. I love it when an album ends in a powerful, hard-hitting ballad. The emotion in Hilary’s vocals on this track are breathtaking. Lady Antebellum really know how to bring believable feelings to their music and they sing as if they mean every word.
I am so glad that this album exists. I have missed this side to Lady Antebellum and feel like one of the greatest bands in the world have come back in full force. There is something so majestic about this trio that make you feel like no other artist can make you feel. I really hope that this album brings them back to being one of the front runners of country music again and sweeping up all the awards like they used to. Lady Antebellum are Nashville, they are Country Music and boy have I missed them.
I cannot wait to see this album live and hope that Lady A don’t leave it too long before they come back to the UK. On an album like this, I could fall in love with Lady Antebellum again.