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Review: Little Big Town return to roots, but stay in neutral

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/22/2017 By MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer
This image released by Capitol Nashville shows "The Breaker," by Little Big Town. (Capitol Nashville via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Capitol Nashville shows "The Breaker," by Little Big Town. (Capitol Nashville via AP)

Little Big Town, "The Breaker" (Capitol Nashville)

Regular scheduled programming has resumed for Little Big Town.

The quartet gets back to their country roots on "The Breaker" after exploring an electronic side with Pharrell Williams on 2016's exciting "Wanderlust." They may have come home, but without much purpose.

The band's famous shimmering harmonies are as airy as ever under the guidance of longtime producer Jay Joyce, although the new album is merely pretty without being particularly interesting or urgent.

It's all a little aimless, like the back-to-back roaming tunes "We Went to the Beach" — seriously? The beach? — and "Drivin' Around," which sounds like an apparent attempt to recapture the hit "Day Drinking."

Little Big Town is also pretty rambling in "Lost in California" and "Rollin,'" a tune with a clear lyrical warning that nothing noteworthy is going on: "I'm gonna take my time/Throw it in neutral."

The most lyrically interesting song on the album is actually by Taylor Swift — that's "Better Man," a tune about being disappointed in someone and still loving them.

Another beauty is the dreamy "Don't Die Young, Don't Get Old," which seems destined to be used in a luxury car commercial or in a montage of wistful people bravely going about their day in a TV drama.

The band — Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet — do sound great. But to lift a line from one of their new songs, they seem to be "killing time when time won't die."

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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