Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Lady Antebellum – I Run To You

Popular young countryists get cosy…


Anthony Miccio: Surely they can run faster than this.

Doug Robertson: This sounds more like a casual jog with the vague off chance they might bump into each other on the way, what with them living near the same park and using the same grocery store.

Hillary Brown: This makes Bryan Adams look good. Smushy nonsense with a hint of nice harmonies.

Chuck Eddy: Timely boy and girl harmonize about world spinning faster toward disaster, carefully not specifying how that might happen, updating ’80s pop references (title from Bryan Adams, lies becoming truth from “Billie Jean”) with just a touch of Rob Thomas gutbust. Bottomless opening Appalachian ozone etherea blooms into propulsive schlock-rock that stands up to months of radio airplay. Internet lyric sites insist they’re running from pessimists rather than pestilence. Band opts to retain historically offensive name.

John M. Cunningham: I suppose it was too much to hope that Lady Antebellum was an impossibly tall R&B diva with an Afro, hoop skirt, and parasol, as though imagined by artist Kara Walker. Decent heartfelt duet, though.

Anthony Easton: I usually understand at least academically why a band does well in Nashville, even if they leave me completely indifferent. Lady Antebellum is one of those artists that genuinely confuse me with both critical and commerical success. They are not slick enough to play the charts, and not rough enough to do well on the alt country kick, and are pleasant enough all around to sort of stick in the middle of the Billboard Hot 100 and stay there, have half a hit, and then do session work. They are not the second coming of new country, they do not deserve the no. 1 spot, and the anemic qaulity is exactly opposite of the melodrama that rachets up most of the charts. 5 for effot.

Martin Kavka: “This world keeps spinning faster to a new disaster”, yes. But as long as one responds to that with the romantic nihilism expressed in these lyrics, the disasters won’t stop. Maybe they could, you know, vote for the change we need. Additional point taken off for the moment at 0:19, when Charles Kelley’s voice hits that first high note: he sounds as if he’s surprised to find someone pinching his left nipple.

Martin Skidmore: The lyrics are rather woolly on this country-rock number, but I like Hillary Scott’s voice a lot, and the harmonies are excellent too, though I find the other male singer smooth but bland. The rocking is rather perfunctory, and sometimes the melodic line is a bit mechanical too, but there is real talent here. I’d like to hear a lot more of her.

Iain Mew: The two voices add nothing to each other, meaning this doesn’t really work as a duet. It comes across more like two separate takes on one song that just happen to be mostly occupying the same space. I would take his melting into the background over her strident emoting, but the song’s not taking off either way.

Alex Ostroff: The opening swells of organ catch my interest, and indicate the swelling multi-instrumental arrangement of the song, giving the song an enjoyably full sound. In the annals of modern country, vague lyrics about the shelter of love are certainly preferable to kneejerk anti-urbanism. But songs about white folks in the Antebellum South “run[ning] from hate… [and] prejudice,” are just plain weird.

One Response to “Lady Antebellum – I Run To You”

  1. Maybe they could, you know, vote for the change we need.

    Maybe they did. (I haven’t come across any interviews where they reveal their political inclinations one way or the other, though I’d love to read one if one exists.)