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The trio's sophomore album not only also debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 charts and stayed there for two weeks but was certified Platinum in the US (1M sold) in three short weeks. Lady Antebellum have also celebrated back-to-back chart-topping singles, proceeding directly from the previous effort's "I Run to You" hitting the top spot in July to their "Need You Now" enjoying a multi-week run at No. 1 just prior to the new album's stateside release.
* This UK release of Need You Now also features two tracks lifted from their debut album, "Lookin For A Good Time" and "I Run To You", not featured on the US release.
Which means they are, at least stateside, all things to all white people. They retain just enough country-twang elements to satisfy purists, but ladle on slick pop hooks and reasonably gutsy guitar chugs and solos to woo the rock fraternity. If the girl-boy vocals give them their Mac attack, stabs of winking humour ensures this is the next album bought by people who miss Shania Twain.
Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott form a curious three-headed beast–in their videos you're never quite sure who's in the band and who's a model. They're a bit scary. They are the ultimate corporate behemoth, here to shift cars and steal our children.
But here's the thing: they're not awful. Need You Now, in particular, is a huge hoary pop seduction, with a chorus it'd take a heart of stone to resist. Immediately, it announces itself as power-anthem paradise, evoking such guilty-pleasure godhead as Alone by Heart or I Drove All Night by Roy Orbison/Cyndi Lauper. You'll briefly, secretly love it with a passion for about three weeks before TV talent-show kids start devaluing it. That is one belting chorus. "It's a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk but I need you now..." Springsteen should cover it. American Honey is more acoustic and nostalgic, craftily doubling its sales by putting "American" in the title. Lookin' for a Good Time begins with a Tom Petty riff which is so cheesy it's radioactive, while I Run to You has "punch the air triumphantly" stamped on its chest.
Genius. Evil genius, obviously, but fiendishly effective. --Chris Roberts
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