Little Big Town’s new album is ‘Wanderlust.’ Produced by Pharrell Williams, the album sees the multi-Grammy winning country music vocal group making a foray into a variety of pop music genres. Find out what the critics have to say in their reviews of this highly anticipated new album.
Yes, there’s been much buzz over this steadfast country music quartet — still comprised of its original lineup of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook — taking a new direction. They’re long known for their stellar four-part harmonies and embrace of traditional country. But now, there’s a musical transition unfolding in ‘Wanderlust,’ their 2014 album that produced their crossover smash hit single ‘Girl Crush’ which went double platinum earlier this year and has served to widen their fan base.
Now in teaming of with Pharrell Williams, there are obviously high expectations and also much curiosity over what the multi-Grammy winning superstar producer and coach on NBC’s The Voice might bring to the proverbial table.
When the collaboration was announced, as Rolling Stone reports, Karen Fairchild said in a statement, in part, “The music feels like our worlds have collided in the best possible way – his infectious grooves paired with our layered vocals and harmonies.” This perfectly describes the first single of the new album, ‘One of Those Days,’ which is indeed a mashup of “grooves” and “harmonies” and nothing like what we’ve previously heard from the vocal group in their nearly two decades of songs.
Now as the album arrives in full, critics are having their say, as to this collision of worlds.
“…. Pharrell and the foursome shed nearly every Music Row expectation, save the mandate to make everything pithy, tight and catchy. The sole fiddle you’ll find turns up in “C’mon.” Otherwise, the songs draw on jazz, gospel, blues, reggae, cabaret, even freak folk. Yet, it never sounds like LBT are stretching for its own sake. The changes sound seamless…..” — Entertainment Weekly
“….Although Wanderlust is out tomorrow, five of its eight songs are already publicly available, and together they paint this project as a failed experiment more entertaining for its ambition than its musical payoff. ….” — Stereogum
“….Whether Wanderlust is your musical bag or not, one has to give Little Big Town credit. There’s some of their most musically adventurous or experimental sounds on this album, from “One Of Those Days” – maybe the best overall fit for Pop radio and “The Boat.” There’s even a bit of a Prince-vibe on “Miracle,” which is decidedly in the R&B vein….” — Sounds Like Nashville
Pharrell Williams goes country? Or LBT goes pop? Or perhaps neither. Perhaps by now in the 2010s we should be accustomed to these pairings. Will they bring the iconic vocal group a new fan base? We’ll soon find out. You can see the ‘Little Big Town’ album cover art and music videos below.
Pictures: PR Photos