Are you in the mood for some good ol country music mixed with a modern funky vibe and sweet melodies? Then this album is definitely for you. I've glimpsed Little Big Town online one time too many and have even promised to check out their songs but never got around to doing so. Interestingly enough, a Tornado was all it took to get my attention. I rely heavily on first impressions; if I'm not intrigued from the very first listen, whether or not I played samples or the songs in full, I'll pass on doing a review. But after listening to the opening track I just had to dive into the rest.
Pavement Ends had me bumping my head, clapping my hands, and stomping my feet. The song’s about reflecting (on their roots) on how carefree life is or was. Its upbeat sound and fierce singing compliments the raw lyrics. What I had no idea about is that the group alternates on lead vocals. And I think that the energetic nature of this track resounds even more with the strong male upfront. He makes life sound pretty wild and spontaneous on this one.
Aren’t country musicians amazingly talented? They can write songs even about boats and make it sound so irresistibly sexy. Aside from the fact that I now want to go chill out on a Pontoon, I can’t get over how fun and relaxing the song really is. Those melodious strings at start captured my attention before the track kicked off, and by the time Karen started singing in that laid back no cares in the world tone, I was completely drawn in. This is the Summer by the lake anthem powerful enough to have you thinking of bikinis and barbecues in Winter. It’s even more wonderful that the music video depicted the song’s message.
After that previous number I needed a few minutes to recover and get that energy going again. Sober may not be upbeat, but it certainly had me alerted. The track thrusted me into an emotional ocean; I was literally swimming in the heartfelt singing and far from generic lyrics. Kimberly, like most of us (if not all) doesn’t ever want to leave the embrace of love. Its the realness of the song that makes it an exceptional potential of being a single. It has mesmerized one soul already.
Whoa! All four harmonize beautifully. Still, each has his/her own distinctive sound that shines without overshadowing the other. While the guys take lead on Front Porch Thing, the ladies are just as astounding on the hook. The bluesy track offers a gritty and raw feeling proven to be quite indescribable. Though, the boldness is restrained for a more softer tone in Your Side of the Bed. The lonely number is quite an example of a sad country ballad, but don’t go comparing it to any other. This tearjerker is a undoubtedly a masterpiece in itself, sniffy nose, puffy eyes and heartache aside. The fact that its a duet made me grip my chest tighter.
The tempo is heightened but Leavin’ In Your Eyes is indeniable a continuation of the previous. In this case, the relationship is done from one person’s perspective, while the other hopes to rekindle the flame. The song features a male lead pouring his heart out, with the girls intensifying the anguish in the chorus.
I must say, Karen brings it on the title track. Tornado is all about taking a stand; rising up to the man’s surprise. The fearsome beat is complimented by her confident fire, igniting on every note. And that dominant laugh echoing in the background is the highlight of this badass track. Tornado is my favorite on the album. I congratulate female empowerment wherever it is found.
On Fire Tonight is indeed hot. The girls dominated this track (with the guys adding edge here and there). This song takes entertainment to another level, inducing playful elements at every corner. Both ladies blend perfectly together on lead, if you aren’t careful you might end up unable to decipher who is singing what part, but then again that’s hardly the point when you’re having a good time.
The sultry and soulful Can’t Go Back is the vocal highlight of the entire album, portraying pure and passionate harmonizing and flawless singing from each member. Whether you fall in love with the truth of the lyrics or the acoustic sounds, its a song you have to agree has a life of its own.
The bluesy rock inspired Self Made gave off a live concert feel in the opening and throughout the track you can hear a story unfolding. This is a motivational song about relying on your own efforts to achieve your dreams. Its better to gain success from hard-work and determination, rather than selling your soul. I’m loving it.
The album wraps, not the way it started in an adrenaline, but on a more smoother and softer note. Night Owl is all about love; staying up waiting for the one you love to return. Their voices sway like calm waves and rushes into my heart when its called for. I wouldn’t expect such a slow track to end things but I’m impressed nonetheless.
I enjoyed this album to a point where I’ll now go digging for every song the band’s ever released like a beyond devoted fan. Is it safe to say LBT is my new addiction? Well, regardless if I’m getting too excited, I’m glad I found them. My only beef with Tornado is that it went by so quickly. Never thought I would say such a thing.
************01. Pavement Ends 02. Pontoon 03. Sober 04. Front Porch Thing 05. Your Side of the Bed 06. Leavin’ In Your Eyes 07. Tornado 08. On Fire Tonight 09. Can’t Go Back 10. Self Made 11. Night Owl
Credits: LittleBigTownVevo + LBT official website.