The Reason Why

Studio Album by released in 2010

The Reason Why review

Little Big Town’s fourth work

The American country quarter Little Big Town released its eponymous debut album in 2002 though its story started much earlier. Vocalists Kimberly Roads (currently Schlapman) and Karen Fairchild met in college back in late 1980s and were soon joined by rhythm guitarists and vocalists Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet. Little Big Town’s first record could have been released earlier but unsuccessful record label selection did not let it happen. The band gave the world a number of country hits, one of the latest being a live recording of the cover of The Dream Academy’s song Life in a Northern Town performed with Jake Owen and Sugarland during the latter’s 2007’s tour. The musicians went on their first headlining tour last year – they have only performed as a supporting act before, for example, they opened for their young colleague Carry Underwood in 2008. This year Little Big Town’s fourth studio work The Reason Why is released and promises to become one of the best in its discography.

Splendid vocal harmonies on The Reason Why

Little Big Town’s music is always built upon the vocal harmonies of all its four members but they manage to create something new every time even if it is all about nuances only. On the new album The Reason Why the classic country sometimes passes into a bit heavier rock sound, for example, on the second track Runaway Train, setting a somewhat worrisome and tense tone after the soft, slightly monotonous title track. The melodious slow number Kiss Goodbye illustrates the splendid vocal harmonies whereas the ballad Shut Up Train proves to be one of the best in the entire history of Little Big Town. Karen is singing the solo here filling the composition with strong emotions and creating vivid images – the train, wanting to sleep and forget about the chasing past mistakes. Another highlight is the song Why, Oh Why starting from the quartet singing a cappella and refined with amazing guitars and Karen’s powerful vocals. The lead single off the album Little White Church is the band’s most successful piece after the single Bring It on Home from the 2005’s second album The Road to Here. It presents an example of the genius simplicity: an unpretentious melody and hand claps make the song really contagious and lively. Joyful tracks All The Way Down and Life Rolls On (with a male solo on vocals) can be referred to those rather easy-going county numbers that can color the dull routine. The record closes with another most beautiful ballad Lean Into It with a marvelous guitar solo and very soulful male vocal part.

Successful tunes and faultless arrangements

Country performers have not been pleasing their fans with new works lately – this is obviously the result of the world’s economic situation which is far from the best. The Little Big Town members had to work at their own time because music did not yet bring the desired income but luckily that is all in the past. Although the quartet’s commercial success has not coincided with the critics’ acclaim so far the musicians have never fallen into despair and keep on doing what they enjoy doing. And it is not all in vain. This time around producer Wayne Kirkpatrick and the band Little Big Town seem to have finally found a common language – The Reason Why has resulted to be a very integral, complete and stylish album. Each of the members has played his or her part in a great way, and there are really no failure compositions on the fourth album. The musicians have managed to join all their best qualities on the new record, and the entire quartet’s work has yielded its fruit. Both ballads and up-tempo compositions can boast successful tunes and faultless arrangements in the best genre traditions. Karen and Jimi who got married secretly in 2006 have recently had their son, and the undoubted success of The Reason Why will make the reminiscences about this year even more pleasant for them and for the whole brilliant collective.