Little Big Town has built its reputation on a gritty, snappy sound that manages to bridge the gaps among country, rock and bluegrass, most notably in its four-part harmonies and shared vocals that bring to mind Fleetwood Mac or an earthier Eagles. This sound brought the quartet a pair of sleeper hits in “Boondocks” and “Bring It On Home,” but afterward, the hits started peaking lower and lower, and the band’s second Equity album managed to whiff twice. With “Little White Church,” Little Big Town seems to be back on its feet again.
Like many of their songs, “Little White Church” is the product of the band and their producer Wayne Kirkpatrick. Karen Fairchild handles lead vocal duties on it. She is emphatic and commanding when telling her man that he needs to stop playing games and follow through with his promise to marry her. The lyrics are a bit simplistic in parts — stale rhymes such as thing/ring, song/long and baby/crazy — but there are a few flashes of true originality, such as “I might be cheap, but I ain’t free.” The title phrase gets repeated a few too many times, as well; nevertheless, the imperfect lyrics are strengthened greatly by the song’s energetic performance and uncluttered production.
Little Big Town’s last album was most likely a victim of executive meddling more than a change in sound: when it first came out, Equity was on the brink of closure, and by the time Capitol acquired the album, the label was more focused on Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum. There is certainly a strong fanbase for the band’s unique sound, and it’s refreshing to see that radio hasn’t given up on them quite yet.