Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum

With one foot planted in the warm tones of '70s Southern rock and the other tapping to catchy country pop, the music of Georgia trio Lady Antebellum sounds both familiar and new. Its 2008 eponymous album is an impressive debut—especially since the members write their own songs. “Love Don’t Live Here” opens with Charlie Kelley’s throaty voice recalling a young Eddie Vedder, until Hillary Scott’s honeyed inflections smooth out the edges, creating sunny harmonies. The uplifting follower, “Lookin’ for a Good Time,” better zeroes in on their vocal chemistry. Separated, they make for an engaging call-and-response duet, while together they have harmonious moments so close that at times you’d swear they were siblings. Holding all this together is Dave Haywood’s adroit musicianship. He plays, picks, and bends with the immediate energy of someone taught on the road. In the bouncy “Love’s Lookin’ Good on You,” Haywood’s rootsy riffs give the song more strut than the rhythm section. Then his delicate acoustic fingerpicking in “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” plays as light and feathered as Scott’s lead vocals.

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