Lady Antebellum‘s second album, Need You Now, gradually built from modest Nashville success to bona fide cross-genre phenomenon.
How big was Need? Sure, the numbers tell the tale (three chart-topping singles, three million copies sold, five Grammys), but the truly impressive stat is that the title track was such a massive hit that the band played it on the Grammy Awards telecast two years in a row.
So what will they do for an encore? The band just announced that their third album will be called Own the Night (presumably, it won’t have anything to do with this terrible Mark Wahlberg movie) and will be released on September 13. The first single “Just a Kiss” has already been unleashed (it debuted on American Idol and entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number seven), with more to come.
The trick for Lady Antebellum will be avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump (sure, it’s their third album, but the first one since they became a household name). So how should they do it?With a lot of bands, there is the desire to reinvent the sound or push the boundaries, often with disastrous results (Chris Gaines part deux, we don’t need to meet you).
Then again, it’s also a gamble to simply remake the album that made you big in the first place, which can often just come off as lazy. Remember when Gin Blossoms essentially remade New Miserable Experience and called it Congratulations I’m Sorry? You don’t? Exactly!
The rules are admittedly a little different in the country world (less room for experimentation, more focus on tradition), but it would be a sharp disappointment for Lady Antebellum if they went from a huge pop crossover band to simply a competent country act.
Based on “Just a Kiss,” it seems like Lady Antebellum are headed in the right direction. There’s just enough extra flair to prove that they’ve learned a bit about each other and the studio, but the song still sounds like it would fit comfortably on Need You Now.
Honestly, as long as the interplay between the voices of Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley keeps delivering, Lady Antebellum should have no problem storming the charts a second time.
But what do you think? Are you looking forward to a new Lady A album? Can they top the massive success of Need You Now? Should they even try? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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