Lady Antebellum's new single 'Just a Kiss,' the first taste of their upcoming third studio album, finds the band playing it safe both romantically and musically. It follows the trio's world-conquering 2010 album 'Need You Now.'

For a song that finds singers Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott supposedly "caught up in the moment" of exciting new romance, the song seems awfully serious and dour. From stately opening piano chords that would be more at home on a breakup song to the overly dramatic drum hits that mark the switch from verse to chorus, it's hard to believe anybody's having a good time:

"Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight / Just a touch of the fire burning so bright / I don't want to mess this thing up / I don't want to push too far / Just a shot in the dark that you just might be the one I've been waiting for my whole life / So baby I'm all right / With just a kiss goodnight."

OK, so that's smart not to get ahead of yourselves, and it seems pretty clear they've each been burned by bad relationships in the past, but still ... shouldn't some part of this be fun or exciting? Heck, if you walk around all serious over-analyzing things like this, nobody's gonna want a second date anyway.

Regardless, it's clear Lady Antebellum's knack for catchy melodies, dramatic musical moments and soulful singing are intact and as strong as ever. The group will perform 'Just a Kiss' live on 'American Idol' this week, and maybe the song just needs to catch a bit more fire in a live performance setting to really take off.

Rating: 7.5/10

Listen to Lady Antebellum, 'Just a Kiss'

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