REVIEW: Lady Antebellum – We Owned The Night

Lady Antebellum. Photo Credit:  The Greenroom PR / Williams + Hirakawa

It’s funny how fast things change. I first saw Lady Antebellum when they were opening for Kenny Chesney, along with Miranda Lambert, back in 2009. They had just received their first number one single in Canada with “I Run To You.” No one knew who I was talking about back then, and now, two years later, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t know the trio. They’re the strongest group in country music right now and anything they release turns to gold, no matter how good or poor of a song it may be. While I’ve been a fan of the trio ever since then, I haven’t been a fan of the single choices that were released to radio.

“We Owned The Night” is the track that inspired both the album title and the headlining tour name. The song already had a lot to live up to just by that. While it’s not as instant as “Just A Kiss” or even “Looking For A Good Time,” it’s still one of my favorite singles the group has released this far. Which is weird considering the single doesn’t have a true chorus.

“We Owned The Night” is a stronger single than “Just A Kiss.” While it not be as immediately catchy as the first single from their third album, it feels fuller but still feels like a Lady Antebellum single. The track is a fast-paced love song that relies on Charles Kelley’s vocals this time around, with Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood providing harmony and backing vocals. The second single tries to be different but it still follows the same formula as their major hits, which, unfortunately, may stop new fans from finding a reason to love the group. Lady Antebellum fans, however, will eat this right up.

One of the interesting parts of the single is how the group found a way to blend mandolin with a dance-pop beat. They played it safe to try to keep both their pop crossover fans and country fans happy. Both sides will be able to find something they love in the song, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a “pop” version come out soon for top 40 radio. Charles’ vocals have never been better than they are on this track, and I’m even counting “Hello World.”

The song’s lyrics itself aren’t anything special, but that doesn’t stop it from getting stuck in your head or having you turn the radio up when it comes on. The group has always been good at that, even with singles you don’t like at first but you learn to love the more they get played. There’s no way this single doesn’t go #1, no matter how people feel on it: it was tailor-made for country radio and the band is still just as hot as they were for “Need You Now.” The only reason why it wouldn’t would be because of fatigue from the group being everywhere all the time. Some country fans are getting indifferent to the group because of how big they’ve gotten and how many albums they’ve released so close together.

My favorite Lady Antebellum singles remain to be the ones where Hillary and Charles share lead vocals throughout the song, but that doesn’t take away from “We Owned The Night.” It was a single made for country radio to keep the trio in the spotlight and it will do its job perfectly. I have a feeling the single will be huge live, and I will be seeing them for the first time as headliners next week in Oro Station, Ontario at the CMT Music Festival. It’ll be interesting to see how much of the studio version stays intact live in concert, and how fans react to hearing the title track before the album is released this Fall.

“We Owned The Night” is available on iTunes now, and is currently out on country radio. Let us know what you think of their single in the comments below.

ALBUM: Own The Night
POTENTIAL: Number one Mediabase hit
RATING: 8 out of 10

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