Yahoo Music
Please enable Javascript

Javascript needs to be enabled in your browser to use Yahoo Music.

Here’s how to turn it on: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/enable-javascript-browser-sln1648.html

Review: 'Golden' shows different side of Lady A

This CD cover image released by Capitol Nashville shows "Golden," the latest album by Lady Antebellum. (AP Photo/Capitol Nashville)This CD cover image released by Capitol Nashville shows "Golden," the latest album by Lady Antebellum. (AP Photo/Capitol Nashville)

Lady Antebellum, "Golden" (EMI Nashville)

After pulling out the stops with the heavily orchestrated grandeur of 2011's platinum-selling album "Own The Night," Lady Antebellum heads in the opposite direction with the stripped-down sound of "Golden."

The country vocal trio hinted at its new direction with the sparse, soul-strutting groove of "Downtown," one of the spring's most engaging country hits. As usual, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood deal with the complexities of modern relationships — in this case, a woman asking why her man doesn't take her out for a fun night on the town, like he once did.

The bare-bones arrangements also work well on the emotionally moving "It Ain't Pretty," about a woman living out her heartbreak in public, and on the roots-rocking "Better Off Now (That You're Gone)," which is reminiscent of classic Tom Petty.

The album occasionally recalls past successes: "Long Teenage Goodbye" has the sunny innocence of the 2010 hit "American Honey," once again showing off Scott's shimmering alto. The dramatic crescendos of "All For Love" prove that a big, grand sound, deployed at the right time, fits the group's dynamic duets.

A couple of weak songs dampen the overall impact, but all in all, Lady A continues to experiment and grow while sounding like no one else in contemporary country music.