It's hard to knock Lady Antebellum down for not being country enough. After all, this band has always straddled the fine line between contemporary country and pop; this is part of the band's appeal and one of the reasons for their crossover success. "Own The Night" builds on the wild success of "Need You Now", the band's smash sophomore album, and - for the most part - succeeds. It has more than a handful of strong songs, it's melodic, well produced and finely performed. Those looking for a pleasant set of hummable midtempo songs and moving ballads will find what they're looking for on "Own The Night".
This said, this album is even less country than its predecessor. That is unfortunate because if truth be told, the album's many highlights are arguably those where their country roots are at their most apparent ("Singing me home", "The love I've found in you", "Dancin' away with my heart", "Cold as stone", "When you were mine", "As you turn away" and "Heart of the world"). The album's first two singles were attractive enough to generate airplay and high chart placement ("Just a kiss" and "We owned the night" both reached the top of Billboard's country singles chart, while performing moderately well on the pop charts), but they are not that eventful either and lack the passion that this band is capable of. "Friday night" is as formulaic and generic as the band's many detractors portray them to be, while "Wanted you more" and "Somewhere love remains" are just plain boring.
Still, this album will obviously please the band's fans and might win them a few new ones. However, the band will probably have to try harder the next time around, because they are likely to get stuck in an uncomfortable position : too country for pop radio, and too pop for country music lovers...
on December 9, 2011
I really enjoyed Lady Antebellum's first disc, but had not ordered this one until awards season. They cleaned up at the music awards, so I thought I'd give this CD a listen. I'm enjoying it, but it doesn't have the oomph of the first release. Still, I'm glad I ordered it.