When I heard that Lady Antebellum was releasing another album so soon after last years Golden, I was a little skeptical. Boy was I wrong!
They made a conscience effort to change up their sound by switching from their long-time producer Paul Worley to Nathan Chapman. “We wanted to sound a lot bigger and a little more in your face than records in the past,” Kelley tells Billboard. “We went out of our way to make sure that we found songs that had a lot more drive and energy to them. We really wanted to find songs that would translate to the live show like ‘Freestyle’ and ‘Bartender,’ so that’s how we approached this record.”
Hillary Scott said that it was time to shake things up. “We took a half a year off, and so much of the landscape of country music had shifted in a really exciting kind of way. We would go out on tour and see that our uptempo songs were the ones that were really connecting with the audience. That whole environment really carried over into the live show. It also carried over into our writing. It just led us to a place where we weren’t afraid to take some chances. We’ve always said we could reel ourselves back in, so we might as well go for it.”
While the album has the typical Lady A Ballad-leaning songs, “Down South” and “Lie With Me” have more of an edge. “Freestyle”is a song that exemplifies their new sound and energy. It is a song that sounds more like Florida Georgia Line than typical Lady Antebellum of the past.
That energy re-emerges in “Just A Girl” — “Now I know that I’m just another one of your Friday nights but this is going to be the last time” — with it’s three-chord driving melody and take-back-my-dignity message; and the reflective rocker “Sounded Good At the Time.”
Listen to the album below (and then buy it )