Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Little Big Town, "Kiss Goodbye"

They're back!... Right?  After spending a few years outside the spotlight, Little Big Town has stormed back onto the charts with their first Top 10 hit in four years ("Little White Church"), and has topped the country albums chart for the first time ever with The Reason Why.  Can they maintain their newfound career momentum, or will this turn out to be a false comeback?  Clearly, the release of the album's single is a make-or-break moment.  But if there is any justice in this world, "Kiss Goodbye" will perform just as well as "Little White Church" if not better.

This is one of the group's more pop-flavored efforts, though the steel guitar is still detectable.  "Kiss Goodbye" is largely backed by piano in the beginning.  As the song continues, the production builds up to an unnecessary guitar solo near the end, but the instruments never quite drown out the vocalists.  The song begins quietly with Phillip Sweet singing solo against a piano backdrop.  A drumbeat and a steel guitar chime in as the first verse continues, and then all four members join voices on the chorus.  This progression offers an interesting contrast between soft and loud, which aids in making "Kiss Goodbye" such a uniquely engaging listen.

While the lyrics of "Kiss Goodbye" do adequately convey the intended message, it is the group's performance that lifts the song up to an even higher level of greatness than what it inherently has.  This single boasts some strikingly beautiful harmonies, coupled with a rising melody that allows them to shine more than ever.  Even though none of the band members had a part in writing this song, they put their own signature style on it through their trademark harmonies.  Such harmonies also serve to clearly identify this project as a group effort, as opposed to a solo artist with a glorified backup band.

There's plenty to love about this new single, as well as the solid album that it is drawn from, but it's the gorgeous vocals that really make it a showstopper.  If Little Big Town continues giving us such strong performances as this, then let us hope we won't have to kiss them goodbye anytime soon!

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