Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lady Antebellum, "Hello World"

I wanted to like it.  I really did.  I might as well try to make myself like it, since it will soon be all over radio, and I won't be able to get away from it.  But the songwriters have made it very hard for me to like.

Given that the song's writers (Tony Lane, David Lee, and Tom Douglas) have some high-quality hit compositions under their belts, it's a surprising disappointment that "Hello World" shows symptoms of lazy songwriting.  It's about a man who feels lost in a sea of modern technology who longs to reconnect with... something.  Such a song is not necessarily pre-doomed to failure, but in this case it could benefit from a more refined concept.  The first epiphany occurs when a little girl with chocolate on her face waves at him.  In the second verse he drives by a "Little White Church" (Do I hear hand-clapping?), and knows that God is there.  Finally, he comes home to his wife and children.  Each of these instances prompts him to say "Hello World."

Our perception of what takes place is hazy at best.  What has caused him to feel so hurt and broken in the first place?  How exactly is he affected by each seemingly revealing moment?  And what does the term "world" represent in this context?

The loosely constructed lyrics coast along on a lifeless melody, and Charles Kelley's unexpressive vocals fail to breathe any life into this snoozer of a tune.  I don't like using the "B" word, but I'm just going to come out and say it:  This song is boring. 

If Lady Antebellum's hits are to continue having any impact after their radio run ends, then the songwriting and performance will have to show more signs of effort.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)