Album Spotlight: Lady Antebellum, ‘Heart Break’
When most bands say they’re “taking a break,” we all know what it means. Usually that pause becomes permanent, and if they do reunite, we can sense a loss of focus. That was not the case for Lady Antebellum.
After briefly going their separate ways to work on solo projects, the beloved trio came back together to create an incredible 2017 project, Heart Break. Weaving themes of heartbreak and young love paired with upbeat melodies and soft ballads, the group manages to keep their signature sound while sounding as refreshed as ever.
The album opens up with the breezy “Heart Break,” which celebrates singledom with a chill vibe and a perky, pop-driven sound, making it clear that the rest of the project is sure to feature this same sense of rejuvenation. When “You Look Good” kicks in, you’ll swear you’ve switched to an entirely new album, as the group infuses a fresh dynamic into the swanky track. The horns take the song to a whole new level, begging you to listen in its entirety. Only Lady A can make a song sound different from anything else on the album and still have it work seamlessly.
The familiar Lady A sound comes in hot on “Somebody Else’s Heart” as they sing about heartache in a way that makes it feel more calming and hopeful than sad — a unique talent the trio possesses. “This City” will suck you into its earworm melody, begging you to chant “whoa oh oh” right along with them. It’s a solid radio hit if they choose to release it. A standout moment comes when Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley’s unite for “Hurt,” their voices shining as they paint a beautiful image of true love, begging the question if this is one of the songs inspired by their spouses. Their poignant vocals, coupled with the subtle strings in the background, help bring the song to life. The carefree “Good Time to Be Alive” is like a blend of previous hits “Downtown” and “Bartender,” offering feel-good lyrics that manage to make you feel full of life, followed by the equally uptempo and catchy “Think About You.”
While the album overall is polished and fresh, but themes of young love and heartache are dominant, bringing familiarity. It’s forever enlightening how the gifted trio is able to take a somber subject matter like broken relationships and grief and transform it into something so positive and uplifting. What Heart Break does is magnify the honesty that fans love about the decorated trio while simultaneously breathing new life into their career, making for a special project only a group of experimental, yet focused individuals as Lady Antebellum can achieve.
Did You Know?: Lady A’s Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood rented a house in Hollywood, Calif., for a multi-day writing retreat to create the album. The break from Nashville life did them well.
Key Tracks: “You Look Good,” “Hurt,” “Heart Break,” “Good Time to Be Alive”
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