The Reason Why

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
It's anybody's guess why Little Big Town's three fine singles from 2007's excellent A Place to Land failed to crack the Top 30, or why the album didn't build upon the platinum success of its predecessor, The Road to Here. That said, the bluesy roil in "Little White Church," the pre-release single from The Reason Why, LBT's fourth studio album, proves that failure was a fluke. The trademark four-part harmony that separate them from the rest of the contemporary country pack isn't the only thing: their group songwriting -- with producer and guitarist Wayne Kirkpatrick as a fifth member -- is classy, sophisticated, and doesn't rely on genre clichés. While the '70s-period ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
It's anybody's guess why Little Big Town's three fine singles from 2007's excellent A Place to Land failed to crack the Top 30, or why the album didn't build upon the platinum success of its predecessor, The Road to Here. That said, the bluesy roil in "Little White Church," the pre-release single from The Reason Why, LBT's fourth studio album, proves that failure was a fluke. The trademark four-part harmony that separate them from the rest of the contemporary country pack isn't the only thing: their group songwriting -- with producer and guitarist Wayne Kirkpatrick as a fifth member -- is classy, sophisticated, and doesn't rely on genre clichés. While the '70s-period Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles were clear inspirations and influences earlier, here they've been integrated into a sound that is LBT's own. The guitars are a little fiercer, the harmonies looser, and therefore more emotionally expressive; they reflect the growth in their lyrics. And even as Karen Fairchild is asserting herself as a de facto frontwoman, the contributions made by Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet and Kirkpatrick create an inseparable whole. The group wrote or co-wrote nine of the set's 12 songs, including the single, and it's their songs that shine brightest, beginning with the title-track opener. With a melody that resembles a 1960s pop song, Fairchild sings solo to a single-string electric guitar riff playing changes; the acoustic guitars fold underneath her voice and then the harmonies kick in to take the entire thing to the stratosphere. The intro harmonies on "Why, Oh Why" echo both the Louvin Brothers and Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, before a nasty electric-guitar vamp, a punched-up kick drum, snare and distorted slide guitar turn this into prime, funky country-rock. "All the Way Down," introduced by a scratchy vinyl record and harmonies singing the refrain as if from the distant past backed only by a banjo, promptly shifts gears into a prime modern-country song with soaring vocals, mandolins, and an infectious hook. "Lean into It" is the stripped-down ballad that closes the album. Gentle guitars and a lonely pedal adorn Sweet's vocal, which is girded by the voices of his bandmates to provide solace during the dark hours we all endure. The Reason Why is mature, exquisitely crafted, and radio friendly; it ups the ante for contemporary country in songwriting, performance, and production (the latter by stripping away excess). It's as near to a perfectly balanced recording as one will find in the genre.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/2010
  • Label: Capitol
  • EAN: 5099968875527
  • Catalog Number: 88755
  • Sales rank: 13,401

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Reason Why (4:52)
  2. 2 Runaway Train (3:45)
  3. 3 Kiss Goodbye (4:02)
  4. 4 Shut Up Train (3:48)
  5. 5 Why, Oh Why (3:44)
  6. 6 Little White Church (3:06)
  7. 7 You Can't Have Everything (3:29)
  8. 8 All the Way Down (3:08)
  9. 9 All Over Again (4:08)
  10. 10 Rain On a Tin Roof (4:25)
  11. 11 Life Rolls On (3:10)
  12. 12 Lean Into It (4:19)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Little Big Town Primary Artist, Hand Clapping
Phil Madeira Hammond B3
J.T. Corenflos Electric Guitar, Guitar (12 String Electric)
Dan Dugmore Pedal Steel Guitar
Shannon Forrest Drums, Tambourine
Jay Joyce Electric Guitar
Gordon Kennedy Electric Guitar
Wayne Kirkpatrick Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Shaker, national steel guitar, Hi String, Guitar (Tenor), Guitar (12 String Acoustic), Banjar
Chris McHugh Drums
Jimmie Lee Sloas Bass
Steve Dale Bass
Caleb Sherman Steel Guitar
Karen Fairchild Tambourine
Jimi Westbrook Acoustic Guitar
Adam Shoenfeld Electric Guitar
Jedd Hughes Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar
Greg Hagan Electric Guitar
Phillip Sweet Piano
Kimberly Schlapman Tambourine
Jeffery Roach Keyboards
Steve Sinatra Drums
Technical Credits
Jeff Balding Engineer
Wayne Kirkpatrick Composer, Producer
Todd Robbins Engineer
Glenn Spinner Engineer
Gordie Sampson Composer
Chris Tompkins Composer
Steve McEwan Composer
Little Big Town Producer
Karen Fairchild Composer
Jimi Westbrook Composer
Joanna Carter Art Direction
Hillary Lindsey Composer
Trent Willmon Composer
Matt Coles Engineer
Phillip Sweet Composer
Luke Laird Composer
Chris Stapleton Composer
Daniel Mixer Engineer
Jonathan Singleton Composer
Kimberly Schlapman Composer
Hank Williams Mastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2012

    Classy Goodness From Country's Most Undervalued Band

    I can't improve on the editorial review given here by All Music Guide for "The Reason Why." It perfectly nails all that is exquisite about the album. It's a complete album that can be listened to from beginning to end without skipping tracks. If you like country music or if you don't it's a great collection of tunes performed by a band that is as good vocally as any people I've ever heard.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great album

    Reason Why is a great album. My favorite song is Little White Church.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews