Up For Review: Little Big Town’s ‘The Reason Why’

After three critically well-received and commercially successful outings, mainstream southern faves Little Big Town are back with their fourth rodeo entitled The Reason Why. While back in action, the “Country Fleetwood Mac” have solidified themselves as music’s mainstay harmonists extraordinaire. The inherent drawback to the record, and the act itself, is the lack of surprise found on each prospective release.

A number of Country’s fundamental-yet-cringe-worthy topics are unsurprisingly scattered throughout the record. Lead single “Little White Church” embodies some of these: “No more calling me baby, no more loving like crazy…’Til you take me down to the little white church.” Its southern morality is stereotypical and borderline preachy, and its lack of catchiness doesn’t forgive its thematic cons.

The best song on the album is buried on the second half of the record. Not overly fast-paced, but far from balladsville, “All the Way Down” boasts Little Big Town’s famed vocals, bolstered by a killer hook that’s a hoot to sing along to. Now we’re talking.

For those who get a kick out of the upbeat, “Runaway Train” delivers. It’s a boot-stompin’, knee-slappin’ rollercoaster ride that is sure to become a roaring anthem for the band at upcoming live gigs.

Despite my pessimism for the genre, Little Big Town is a great band (especially live), but they need a little flair—maybe a page out of feisty Miranda Lambert’s book or a sliver of edge á la Jace Everett’s “Bad Things.” The Reason Why is a great record standing on its own merits, but if you’ve heard any of their previous attempts, this one is simply par for the course.

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