“Golden” continues Lady Antebellum’s cross genre success

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courtesy of Capitol Records

Since their debut album in 2008, Lady Antebellum has been met with critical success and numerous Grammy nominations.

Kathryn Browne, Staff Writer

It’s been two years since Lady Antebellum released their Grammy-winning album “Own the Night”, and the band has returned with yet another successful album. The band entered the music scene in 2007 and started as backup vocalists for other music artists like Jim Brickman. This start influenced their signing to Capitol Records which led to the release of their first album, “Lady Antebellum”. Their small start as backup vocalists quickly evolved the band into an iconic face of modern country music.

Their newest album, “Golden”, features thirteen new songs full of the band’s traditional harmonies as well as their usual pop-rock aspects. Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott produce the vocals for this powerhouse trio, and Dave Haywood provides the backbone for the instrumental side of the band, playing piano, guitar and mandolin.

courtesy of Capitol Records

The second pre-album single, “Goodbye Town”, is the second track on the album and sets the sound for the album. Charles Kelley provides the song’s vocal foundation with Hillary Scott’s female harmony composed in to create a natural sounding collaboration that is heard throughout the entire album. The song describes the scene of what life was like when two people met and fell in love. The lyrics go on to portray how the two feel about this town that reminds them of goodbye after growing apart. The track has a soft sound with deep bass, but over the course of the song, pop-rock elements are incorporated through deep electric guitar and simple tempoed drums.

Nothin’ Like the First Time” gives listeners a stronger taste of country strong with twangy bass, accompanied by a strumming guitar in the chorus. Lady Antebellum continues their harmony-based sound on this track as they sway between lead male and lead female vocals. The tune relives the first time the two met and how special they both felt. The bright piano and mandolin keep this song sweet, and gives it a sense of youth and innocence.

The album’s first pre-album single,“Downtown” prepared anxious fans for the Lady Antebellum sound they have grown to love. It features a basic bass line that provides the foundation for the song’s simple yet fun electric guitar rhythm. The song’s lyrics describe how a girl just wants to be taken downtown to have some fun. The smooth flow of female vocals mixed with deep male echoing creates the typical Lady Antebellum sound full of harmony over a pop-country vibe.

Better Off Now (That You’re Gone)” provides dedicated fans with the fast-paced, confident sound they have grown to love. The song uses strong electric guitar, fast tambourine, and a faster tempo to give off a sound of confidence. An intense harmonica solo in the bridge pours into the final chorus to give the song a country- rock finish. The sound of this track is similar to many of the singles off their very successful album, “Own the Night”.

courtesy of Sirius XM

Things are slowed down as a lonely ballad of loneliness during the song “It Ain’t Pretty”. Piano serves as the lead instrument, with light guitar strumming to create a soft, emotion-stirring tune. The intensity of this emotion gives Scott a chance to showcase her vocal capabilities and range. This song is different from other ballads the band has released in the past, containing fewer instruments and more emotion.

The album titled track, “Golden”, is a soft and sweet acoustic melody about the beauty of the woman he loves. This beauty isn’t excluded to just exterior beauty, but the lyrics go into the depth of how this woman is beautiful on the inside. The song has very simple instruments but when paired with deep, meaningful lyrics it becomes far more complex.

Mid tempo piano over light guitar strumming while echoing vocals and growing drums anticipate an intense chorus with louder vocals and electric guitar throughout “All For Love”. As the chorus turns into a second verse, the lead vocals switch to female from male, for a softer verse. This song showcases the band’s ability to mix tempos as well as overall sound throughout individual songs.

Generation Away” makes for a great summer song with pop-country guitar string plucking accompanied by a hand clapping tempo and a chorus that makes listeners want to sing along. This song remembers the great people and things of the past while sharing the band’s desire to be remembered in the same way as time goes on. This song expresses the band’s hope and dreams as they continue with their thriving musical career.

Lady Antebellum maintained their usual sound with “Golden” and kept devoted fans pleased. The band used their strong vocal harmony to create catchy melodies with lyrics that expressed strong emotion. Lady Antebellum has been nominated for Grammy’s every year since 2009, and “Golden” will help the band continue this streak.