Little Big Town A Place To Land

The good news is that country music’s fall from the purity of Haggard, Owens and Jones has resulted in a New Nashville backlash, an evolution of sorts wherein the music has regained prominence over packaging. Little Big Town stand alone as a band that have worked hard to create a platform in which it’s all about the music. Before any instrument is even picked up, these four magical voices celebrate the beauty of three- and four-part harmonies, trading lead vocals that serve the song first, while ego takes a distant back seat. Kimberly Roads-Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, Phillip Sweet and Karen Fairchild mine the roots of traditional country and filter this through an obvious affinity for the ’70s-era California sounds of bands like Poco, the Eagles and even Lindsay Buckingham-period Fleetwood Mac. Combining these influences with superior songwriting and expert musicianship, they escape the curse of over-production through the utter sincerity and quality of their delivery, live or on record. This third release features 12 sturdy tracks that eclipse their last Grammy-nominated release, if only because their meticulous approach to songwriting is flawless. Any snickers created through dated references are instantly silenced by the sheer majesty of songs like "Fine Line,” "To Know Love” or the hook-laden "Vapor.” Happy landings, indeed. (Equity)