Little Big Town scored big with its second album, 2005's The Road to Here, thanks to high charting singles like "Good as Gone." Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Roads Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet fused rootsy contemporary country with acoustic and electric instruments, and their vocal harmonies inspired by Fleetwood Mac proved irresistible. A Place to Land is superior to its predecessor in every way, though: production feels more organic, the music is more sophisticated, and the lyrics more poignant. Perhaps the real secret to the success of this quartet is its secret weapon in behind-the-boards fifth member Wayne Kirkpatrick, who serves as the band's producer and songwriting partner. He's chief guitar picker, and plays just about anything with strings, as well as the clavinet and B-3. If the sound on The Road to Here is reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac's glory years, A Place to Land drinks deeply from the well of the entire Southern California scene from the mid- to late '70s. It's not all regurgitation, either. Little Big Town's sound is rooted deeply in traditional, organic country music. Their songs meld seamlessly with the vocal harmonies that evoke vintage Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Eagles' earliest records. While the album's opener, "Fine Line," literally rings with Lindsey Buckingham's chord progressions, choruses, and arranged vocals (à la "Go Your Own Way"), it's open rock & roll territory with one exception: the verse structure has enough hard country to rise above that influence. The musicians distinguish themselves a bit more on the album's road-weary first single, "I'm with the Band." Its beautifully paced B-3, electric guitars, big cracking drums, Dobro, banjos, and mandolin are woven into a beautiful road song. The Eagles get melody-checked in "That's Where I'll Be," but the harmonies here could only be better if Bernie Leadon and Timothy B. Schmit joined in for six-part harmony. The acoustic guitars rise and fall, keeping a steady rhythmic chatter that serves as a painterly backdrop for those gorgeous voices. There is a loneliness and conviction in the song that feels authentic. This band has another side as well, and it's brought out in spades with the spooky "Evangeline," a harrowing song about emotional abuse: "You don't have to be kicked to be bruised/And you don't have to be hit to be abused...." It's one woman talking to another, exhorting her to see what's happening at the hands of a sick, violent man. With its high lonesome guitars, a spidery Dobro, and muffled floor tom, it's as powerful in its way as Gretchen Wilson's "Independence Day." Those who thrive on love songs will find "To Know Love" irresistible. It's profound in its poetry and simplicity. "Novocaine," with its bluesed-out slide opening, explodes into a hand-clapping rocker. For all of LBT's appropriation of signature sounds from '70s L.A., their manner of employing them is, paradoxically, their trademark. There isn't another act out there on the road or in a studio today that sounds remotely like them.
|Label:||Equity Music Group|
Performance CreditsLittle Big Town Primary Artist
Phil Madeira Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Dan Dugmore Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Shannon Forrest Drums
Gordon Kennedy Guitar,Electric Guitar
Wayne Kirkpatrick Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Hammond Organ,Tambourine,Clavinet,12-string Guitar,Shaker,national steel guitar,Foot Stomping,Mando-Guitar,Crowd Noise
Chris McHugh Drums
Jimmie Lee Sloas Bass,Bass Guitar
Glenn Spinner Background Vocals,Crowd Noise
Randy Kohrs Dobro
Karen Fairchild Tambourine,Foot Stomping
Jimi Westbrook Acoustic Guitar,Foot Stomping
Phillip Sweet Acoustic Guitar,Foot Stomping
Rebecca Sweet Background Vocals,Crowd Noise
LBT Background Vocals
Jimi & Phillip Acoustic Guitar
Technical CreditsWayne Kirkpatrick Composer,Producer
Jon Randall Composer
Torne White Art Direction
Little Big Town Audio Production
Jimi Westbrook Composer
Jessi Alexander Composer
Phillip Sweet Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
can't wait to get this album to add to my collection.. another job well done..
If you like down to earth, foot-stomping, and just plain fun you cannot go wrong with this choice. Buy it as soon as possible because it is going to fly off the shelves. This band is unstoppable!
Just from the 30-second clips, this sounds like a must-acquire album. Can't wait!
I am very much looking forward to this album coming out on November 6. It is another amazing work from an amazing group. Way to go LBT!!
The wait for the newest cd by Little Big Town is just about over and all fans old and new will love this cd as well as A Road To Here. The songs on this cd show both a fun side and a serious side to Little Big Town. I think that their name should actually be Little Big Heart! It's Gonna be Great!!!