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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Tuesday Tunes: Spotlight on Lady Antebellum

[I'm on with my rock 'n' roll pal Kaedy Kiely at 97.1 The River every Wednesday at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. to talk about the latest rock news. Tune in to hear what's up!]

Lady-Antebellum-2012-Christmas-CoverLady Antebellum is sort of the Jay Leno of country music. They’re wildly popular not because they’re extraordinary, but because they’re inoffensive and easy to embrace as background entertainment.

That’s one reason why “On This Winter’s Night” will likely be one of the biggest sellers of the holiday season (and if you define holiday season by 79 degrees and October, then it has officially begun in Atlanta).

The country-pop trio with well-publicized Georgia ties recorded their first Christmas album during two break sessions on their sold-out summer tour and on it, they stick mostly with traditional picks.

The results range from antiseptic to inspired, their “Christmas Baby (Please Come Home)” a toothless plea (Darlene Love still owns this one), but their recasting of “All I Want is You” into a pensive rumination a smart move. Some of the best holiday songs evoke melancholy as well as all that stuff about decking of halls and letting of snow and by turning Mariah Carey’s rollicking ride into a wistful ballad steered by Hillary Scott’s sweet vocals, Lady A provides some welcome dimension.

While the band – Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood – always straddles the line between country twang and adult contemporary swoon, here they take their pop leanings to a higher level with lush orchestrations throughout and a finger-snapping backbeat for the title track, an original tune featuring a children’s chorus.

Oh, sure, there are a few countrified instrumental breaks in “Let it Snow” and the pulsing march that propels “Blue Christmas” is provided by honky tonk piano, but there is no doubt that Lady Antebellum is shooting for mass appeal. And who can blame them? We know it results in good ratings.

5 comments Add your comment

Pete

October 23rd, 2012
8:50 am

Good band. I enjoy their music and how easily they combine country with pop appeal.

It also doesn’t hurt that Hillary Scott is HOT. The most beautiful blue eyes in all of country music.

RL

October 23rd, 2012
11:18 am

Hey Melissa tell US about your latest release. What, don’t have one? Then keep your barbs to your no-talent self.

Frontman

October 23rd, 2012
11:28 am

I’m not really a country fan (I’m a classical musician), but the pomposity of reviewers never ceases to amaze me. The underlying tone here of “We all know it’s crap, but it sells!” is just jealousy incarnate. What would you prefer them do, Ms. Reviewer? Go to an all-bluegrass sound with no vocals? There is room for all types of music (except for rap, which is not music), and each can please many different kinds of souls. Stop criticizing genres of music or even individual bands because you think the sound is “too popular.” That is not always a bad thing. Originality for originality’s sake is also not necessarily a good thing. You need to remember that.

david c

October 23rd, 2012
1:01 pm

Speaking of pomposity, Frontman.
“There is room for all types of music (except for rap, which is not music), and each can please many different kinds of souls. Stop criticizing genres of music or even individual bands because you think the sound is “too popular.””

HP

October 23rd, 2012
2:39 pm

While I loved the first album and can still play it from start to finish, I have failed to be impressed since then. Unfortunately, a group so talented and interesting at first has been white washed into a money making machine. I can just hear the behind the scenes chatter…put out bland music, it will play in offices, malls, football games everywhere and we’ll all be millionaires. I’ll give it a whirl when this comes out but I’ll be surprised if I’m impressed. Thanks for telling the truth about this group. I like them, used to love them but I wish they would reclaim what made them special to begin with.