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Little Big Town

A Place To Land – 2007 (Equity)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Little Big Town

If "Rumors-" era Fleetwood Mac was just starting out today, they would be considered a country band. Need proof? Meet Little Big Town.

The oxymoronically-named quartet does the kind of country music that would have been considered mainstream rock in the '60s or '70s. They seem to be playing this generational kinship up on their third album. The band's new logo would have been right at home on a vintage Jefferson Airplane rock poster. And check out Karen Fairchild's psychedelic miniskirt and go-go boots or the sepia-seeped cover shot evoking as it does some classic Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) albums.

Which is not to say that LBT are derivative, they're not. Out of time, maybe, but not derivative. Not even CS&N were making harmonies as compelling as these, and their lyrics are more mature than their marijuana-tinged forebears. "Vapor" is not about cannabis, but about living life to the fullest. The first single "I'm With the Band" is not a groupie's memoirs, but an ode to the road and the traveling life. They occasionally overstretch themselves lyrically (as on "Vapor" where the singer says he wants to leave a legacy similar to Jesus's), but more often, as on "Evangeline," an examination of spousal abuse and why some people accept it, they get their message across without losing their sprightliness.

Want to know why so many people are nostalgic for the '70's? Meet Little Big Town.