Lady Antebellum was one of the biggest acts in country music in the late 2000s, racking up multiple hits. But when they chose to go on hiatus in October 2015 radio had seemingly left them behind in favor of younger, more pop friendly acts. So it was a smart move of the group to take a break and really give people a chance to miss the trio. In 2016 both Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott released their own solo projects, each seeing a varying degree of success. Kelley earned a Grammy nomination for “The Driver” and Scott got a #1 hit on Christian radio for “Thy Will.” The trio is now reformed and my hope upon their return was that they took the great things about their solo projects and incorporated it into their new music. Their return single is “You Look Good” and man they did not go the way I was hoping. Instead this feels more like a continuation of the dreadful 747 era. I’m not sure where to begin with this mess. I guess with the obvious: the horns. There are a lot of horns incorporated into this song, which as I’ve said before I’m perfectly fine with horns in country songs. While it’s probably the best part of the song, they’re just sort of there and jammed into the blatant pop rock production when they could have incorporated in an interesting way. And for a song that seems to be striving for higher energy, it fails too. After a couple of listens you realize this song is almost just as lifeless as most songs at country radio right now. Then we get to the lyrics, which are just hilariously thin and vapid. I mean look at these chorus lines: And baby you look good all day, all night/You look good, so fresh, so fine/You look good, got everybody watching you like cameras in Hollywood/Baby you look good/Aw baby you look good. This also another country sex song that fails to create a sexy vibe with its lyrics and production. You would think the producer of this song busbee would know how to execute this coming from pop. Just listen to Bruno Mars’ latest album. I digress. But all in all I find “You Look Good’ to be a major disappointment and based off this I am not looking forward to their new album Heart Break.
Recommend? – No Way!
Written by Hillary Lindsey, Ryan Hurd and busbee
One of the most popular acts of the mid to late 2000s was undoubtedly Lady Antebellum. They really blew up on everyone’s radars with their smash, crossover hit “Need You Now.” The group followed this up with a few more hits before the bro country era came around. Ever since then the only real hit the group achieved was “Bartender” and it heavily appealed to trends. Wisely, the group decided last year to go on hiatus for a while. A break was exactly what this group needed because clearly their brand of music didn’t fit current trends. Then it was announced Charles Kelley was forging a solo career and earlier this year released his solo debut album, which turned out to be an average album with a few nice songs. Now another member of Lady Antebellum is trying their hand at a solo career, lead singer Hillary Scott. The powerful front woman of Lady A has always been a good vocalist, but I’ve yet to hear a song since “Need You Now” that really showed off her strength. As a solo artist we should really get a chance to hear her at her best without the pressures of conforming to radio. Her new album will be Christian-based, showing off a side we really haven’t seen a lot from Scott. The lead single was just released and it’s titled “Thy Will.”
One thing that stands out right away about “Thy Will”: it’s much, much different from anything off of Lady Antebellum’s most recent album 747. The production isn’t overdone and the lyrics aren’t immature. It’s quite the opposite. The song is piano-based and serves as the main instrumentation throughout. Scott’s voice is clear as a bell and is allowed to be front and center. This is the Hillary Scott I’ve been waiting to hear. The song itself is about heartbreak, as Scott is clearly in pain from something that happened in her life. Scott hasn’t revealed what exactly she’s referring to and won’t answer what it is when asked. Scott turns to God in this time of pain, as she wonders why she’s feeling so much pain and worries about what is ahead in her life. Scott though realizes that she’s talking to God and that he has good plans in store and that she must be patient, as this heartbreak is all part of it. The song represents a significant spiritual moment for Scott, an epiphany for her pain. The production does a good job of bringing out the emotion of the song, as the song rises as the tone of the song lifts. In the beginning its somber, with only a lone piano. By the end it has reached bliss, represented by a soaring orchestra of instruments.
Overall “Thy Will” is a solid, coming to God song that fits Hillary Scott’s dynamic voice well. It gets back to the production of songs like “Need You Now” and “Love Don’t Live Here” that made Lady Antebellum so big and highlighted Scott’s big voice. The only complaint I have with this song is it can feel a little bit generic at times. It’s beautifully arranged, but can definitely feel too clean to some listeners and leave them wanting more “meat” to the song. Nevertheless this song has me interested in the album, as Scott exploring her spiritual and family side could make for some great music. Scott including her family on the album tells me how person this is to her, so I don’t expect any trend chasing. I doubt “Thy Will” gets big at country radio, but Christian-radio will definitely pick it up. If you’re a fan of Lady Antebellum or Christian-influenced music, I recommend checking this out. “Thy Will” is something you will enjoy.