It’s fun to watch a band you have long believed in grow right in front of your eyes. It’s like watching an inquisitive child bloom into worldly human being. This is very much the same feeling I get when I listen to Lady Antebellum move from their strong debut album and set them up nicely for their sophomore album Need You Now. The title track is a remarkably strong song that has not only gotten Lady Antebellum to the top of the all-genre digital singles chart but it’s also gotten the trio of Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley onto the Hot 100 Singles chart as the single has now crossed over to Adult Contemporary and Pop radio station. All of this after the single spent four weeks topping the Hot Country Singles radio chart.
“American Honey” is going to have a lot to live up to primarily because of the mass appeal of “Need You Now” but after only one listen I don’t see how this single can fail. While Charles Kelley is a gifted vocalist in his own right, having another single feature Hillary is a wise choice as there just ain’t that many female vocalists on country radio at this time and it also helps to keep the duo fresh to the ears of radio listeners. This doesn’t mean that you can’t hear Kelley’s voice as he’s actually quite audible as a harmony vocalist. The melody is sweet and laid-back, perfect for the mid-winter, as the lyrics talk about the innocence of youth to the rat race of life to a want, make that desire, to return to the sweet innocent girl that is “American Honey.”
If I were to have reviewed the song upon just one cursory listen, I would’ve lambasted the fact that the drum machine is placed too high in the mix but upon listening for the second and third time, it doesn’t distract me nearly as much as it did the first time. As for the use of strings towards the end, I could definitely still do without them. Then again, while gratuitous they don’t distract me at all, I just think they don’t need to be there.
When everything’s said and done about “American Honey” it feels like another strong single from a band that is growing into their stardom nicely. As long as they continue to remain grounded in country music, I’m ready to witness their journey and root for Lady Antebellum from the sidelines, like a proud parent does with their children.
Click here to listen.