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Little Big Town

Tornado – 2012 (Capitol)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Little Big Town

When the chorus to Leavin' in Your Eyes kicks in with some lovely layered vocals, it's tempting to compare Little Big Town to Fleetwood Mac. After better sense kicks in, though, it's more reasonable to categorize LBT as Fleetwood Mac-lite, at best. All that '70s cocaine and infidelity made Fleetwood Mac so much darker than anything modern day Nashville could ever produce. To its credit, though, Fleetwood Mac could never produce anything nearly as catchy as Pontoon, easily the country song of summer 2012.

The group works its magic again with On Fire Tonight, which packs chicken scratch guitar, horns, a funky beat, organ and slide guitar into its mix. Sure, it's an overflowing kitchen sink approach, but it works. Sober is both pretty and vulnerable, in a Lee Ann Womack kind of way, with a lyric that smartly compares love to the feeling of being drunk.

Little Big Town knows how to throw down a Southern dance groove better than just about anybody. However, they also sing extremely well, which is why Front Porch Thing succeeds, even though it's little more than a string of Southern lifestyle clichés. If you still have pontoon trips slated before the weather gets too cold, Little Big Town's "Tornado" is a must for your traveling mixtape.