Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Little Big Town release their brand-new record, THE BREAKER, February 24th


Little Big Town’s new album THE BREAKER drops


Little Big Town's "The Breaker."
Photo Credit: Capitol Nashville Records

The collection, which features their now Hot Country Songs and Billboard Country Airplay No.1 single “Better Man,” was written and recorded during one of their busiest and most successful years to-date, so they were apparently not able to devote the time to write as many songs for it as they have for previous albums.

We had an incredibly like creative year last year. I mean, we went from starting this record to making the Pharrell record, which was unexpected but such a joy and so creative in a different way than the records that we make with Jay [Joyce],” said LBT’s Karen Fairchild. “And so, we were writing, and then we were writing with Pharrell and then that ended up being a record. And then we were planning the tour and we went out on the road with Luke for 70 shows, and it just never stopped. And it was like all year long output, output, output of creative. And so yeah, the writing scenarios on the record might not look like they have on past records, but it was just the way it was going to happen. I mean, when you’re that busy it’s like the success also makes it difficult to like write all the time, because writing on the road is not the easiest thing in the world. You have a million distractions, and so there’s all kinds of things like getting focused. But we had also the blessing of having all of these incredible songs sent to us and they seemed to be piecing themselves together.”
The reigning ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year will begin their residency at the Ryman on Friday (February 24th). They’re expected to perform every song on their new album.

Promoting the new project Little Big Town were set to perform on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday (February 23rd). Watch it here

Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild Explains Why They Didn’t Write As Much For The Breaker, As They Have For Previous Albums.



LBT (songs for the album) Transcript: “We had an incredibly like creative year last year. I mean, we went from starting this record to making the Pharrell record, which was unexpected but such a joy and so creative in a different way than the records that we make with Jay [Joyce]. And so, we were writing, and then we were writing with Pharrell and then that ended up being a record. And then we were planning the tour and we went out on the road with Luke for 70 shows, and it just never stopped. And it was like all year long output, output, output of creative. And so yeah, the writing scenarios on the record might not look like they have on past records, but it was just the way it was going to happen. I mean, when you’re that busy it’s like the success also makes it difficult to like write all the time, because writing on the road is not the easiest thing in the world. You have a million distractions, and so there’s all kinds of things like getting focused. But we had also the blessing of having all of these incredible songs sent to us and they seemed to be piecing themselves together.”

When Someone Stops Loving You (Audio)



Little Big Town - The Breaker (Album Review)



Release Date: 24 February 2017
Title: The Breaker
Label: Decca / Liberty Records)
12 Tracks/ Time: 41:43

The Breaker track listing and credits:
1. "Happy People" (Lori McKenna, Hailey Whitters)
2. "Night on Our Side" (Jay Joyce, Jeremy Spillman, Phillip Sweet, Ryan Tyndell, Jimi Westbrook)
3. "Lost in California" (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
4. "Free" (Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird, Lori McKenna)
5. "Drivin' Around" (Kameron Alexander, David Embree, Audra Mae, Todd Spadafore)
6. "We Went to the Beach" (Matt Jenkins, Chase McGill, Laura Veltz)
7. "Better Man" (Taylor Swift)
8. "Rollin'" (Natalie Hemby, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook)
9. "Don't Die Young, Don't Get Old" (Karen Fairchild, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Kimberly Schlapman)
10. "Beat Up Bible" (Cary Barlowe, Hillary Lindsey, Shane Stevens)
11. "When Someone Stops Loving You" (Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill, Lori McKenna)
12. "The Breaker" (Connie Harrington, TJ Osborne)
4 pregrat-tracks were made available with pre-orders of ‘The Breaker’: ‘Better Man’, ‘Happy People’, ‘We Went To The Beach’ and ‘When Someone Stops Loving You’.

Musicians:
Jay Joyce: Bass, Composer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Mixing, Percussion, Producer, Programming
Jedd Hughes: Guitar
John Osborne: Guitar
Hubert Payne: Drums, Percussion
Phillip Sweet: Composer, Keyboards
John Thomasson: Bass
Evan Weatherford: Guitar

Last year the chart managers quite rightly deemed Little Big Town’s electronic diversion set WANDERLUST (Capitol Nashville) not to be classed as “country”. It arrived at No.105 on the Billboard 200 and #50 Top Albums with 5,700 pure sales. Instead of releasing a straight-up country/rock record, LBT dropped the collaborative project with Pharrell Williams. Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild said “The music feels like our worlds have collided in the best possible way - his infectious grooves paired with our layered vocals and harmonies. This music is meant to be danced to, sung along with and turned up loud. It's uplifting and hopeful”.
Previously to that their last “country” album PAIN KILLER (Capitol Nashville/UMGN) made a bow and peaked at No.7 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on Top Country albums Country) with 42,000 copies sold on its debut week. This was well short of the September 11, 2012 release of TORNADO which bowed with 112,800 copies sold. Painkiller was fuelled by the lead-off single “Day Drinking” becoming the group’s sixth top 10 (#4 Billboard Country Airplay) and then the #1 smash hit “Girl Crush” (writers Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose) which snagged CMA Song and Single of the year in 2015 propelling the 4-piece group to stardom.

So, is THE BREAKER a genuine return to country? Well, there is little for the traditional country music fan to grab onto with the 12-track offering mostly reaching out to millennials.
The album kicks off with the chug-along bouncy opener “Happy People” written by top singer songwriters Lori McKenna and Hailey Whitters. The track with its purring Hammond interspersed with some faint steel smoothly rolls out some golden rules, as to how to put smiles on faces and finding true happiness. An art which is something to be cherished, learned and embraced in an ever-cruel and hurtful world: Here's to whatever what puts a smile on your face, Whatever makes you happy, people


Night on Our Side" co-written by LBT members Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook is something which forestalls that “we might live forever for a little while tonight” whilst bending the rules till dawn breaks. 
The Pop/Rock number is something like a hark back to the “Rumours”-era Fleetwood Mac underpinned with acoustic vibes of Christopher Cross’ “Sailing”

The wild abandon of the dreamy “Lost in California" penned by A-list hit songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose paints some pretty colours and highlights Little Big Town’s key strength – those close harmonies. 

Those skills are magnified on the nostalgic driven “Free” which celebrates that the best things in life can’t be bought and are hard won.

Pointing its compass to a stadium rock crowd "Drivin' Around" penned by four outside writers, is rather muddied production wise laced with very modern digital sweetening and editing enrichment techniques.
CMA 2016 Backstage: Little Big Town & Taylor Swift
50th Annual CMA Awards 2 Nov 2016
Source: Taylor Swift/Instagram

The reflective “We Went to the Beach” has a pleasant laid back breezy feel recalling happy summer days. Lead-off single "Better Man" penned by Taylor Swift remains the album go-to standout and landed them a No.1 straight out of the blocks. A song which at first I had some reservations on, perfectly suits Karen Fairchild's vocal and just grows and grows on you – I just love it!



The guitar-driven “Rollin’ is a very rocky affair and musically hardly recalls a roadblock paradise, though stars in the sky shine brightly on another wistful number "Don't Die Young, Don't Get Old".
It’s not until the journey to track 10 when you feel the multi-award winning group truly begin to get back to their country roots. Kimberly Schlapman takes the lead vocal baton on the gentle acoustic driven “Beat Up Bible” where every line in the worn and dusty manuscript offers comfort and recalls precious memories.
Jimi Westbrook’s vocals take centre stage on the heart-breaking “When Someone Stops Loving You,” which rocks some soulful vibes where no switch can be flicked when struggling to get over a deep relationship and move on from a man’s perspective. In a reversal of roles on title cut and gentle paced album closer "The Breaker" (Jimi Westbrook lead vocal) is full of honest regret where no words can paper over those hurtful cracks depicting a sad tale of love gone wrong:
I wish I could give you what you needed, But you can't tell a heart how to feel, but I've tried to

Whilst Breaker offers those trademark classy LBT vocal harmonies and radio-friendly modern-country cuts it perhaps overall embraces a little too many elements of pop and rock.
Country Routes News


What others are saying:

Sounds Like Nashville (Rating: Positive).. All the while, Little Big Town’s ability as vocalists is showcased and the songs selected leave a lasting mark on the listener.
Mark Kennedy Associated Press The band — Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet — do sound great. But to lift a line from one of their new songs, they seem to be “killing time when time won’t die”.

EW.com (Rating: A-) Although the rest of The Breaker may not be blessed with the T-Swizzle magic, there are some more strong contenders for your next breakup playlist.
Allmusic (Rating: 4 STARS) Little Big Town get back to basics on The Breaker, the de facto sequel to their 2014 blockbuster Pain Killer. ..Smoothness is a selling point with Little Big Town: their melodies slide, their harmonies glide, their music seems utterly at peace with the moment... the appeal of The Breaker: it's a confident pop record, one that celebrates sound as much as song.

Paste Magazine The group quickly settles into the tried and true, and they sound great doing it.
Rollingstone (Rating: 3 STARS) a back-to-basics country record that returns the spotlight to the group's unmatched ability to transform subtle Nashville lyricism into major pop drama – this time with no small assist from songwriters like Taylor Swift and industry scribes like Lori McKenna and Natalie Hemby....but The Breaker is the group's first record since their rise to stardom in which downtempo, more contemplative material completely outweighs the muscular, radio fodder like "Night on Our Side" and "Drivin' Around," songs that feel too vague in their worry-free escapism to sound convincing.

Newsday.com  (Rating: B+) But when you have the pick of Nashville’s best collaborators for your project, it’s no wonder that Little Big Town makes the most of it.

Nashville Over Here (Rating: Positive) the closing ballads pull back on the instrumentation throttle in favour of an adult-contemporary ambience, planting focus directly on applaudable lyrical content....Little Big Town are a commodity whose wide appeal has yet to translate to the transatlantic success they deserve. Especially given their attention towards UK audiences, it is a shock that their legions of edible material have not resulted in a radio hit here thus far. I like to think it’s only a matter of time. Their music is ageless, and it’s always easy to tell when you’re listening to Little Big Town.

Little Big Town plus Seth Ennis
Multi Award Winning Little Big Town have announced an Autumn UK tour:

Thu 28th September 2017 - Albert Hall, Manchester (Peter Street, M2 5QR) £30.25 (£27.50 Ticket + £2.75 Fees)
Fri 29th Sept 2017 - O2 Institute, Birmingham (78 Digbeth High Street, B5 6DY) £30.80 (£27.50 Ticket + £3.30 Fees)
Sun 1st October 2017 - Royal Concert Hall/ Strathclyde Suite, Glasgow (Renfrew Street, G2 3NY)
Mon 2nd Oct 2017 - The Sage, Gateshead (St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, NE8 2JR) £30.25 (£27.50 Ticket + £2.75 Fees)
Tues 3rd Oct 2017 - Colston Hall/ Lantern, Bristol (Colston Street, BS1 5AR) Standing £30.25 (£27.50 Ticket + £2.75 Fees)
Thu 5th Oct 2017 - Royal Albert Hall, Kensington (Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP) Standing/Seating (£27.50/ £43.45 incl Fees)

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