Little Big Town, Pain Killer (Capitol Nashville)
☆ ☆ ☆ 1/2
Pain Killer, Little Big Town’s sixth and most eclectic, boldest album yet, finds country’s finest vocal harmonizers at the peak of their powers, which means no one comes close. Want evidence? Cue the lovely Live Forever.
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Pain Killer is raw — Kimberly Schlapman has never shredded at the mic the way she tears into Save Your Sin, and the foursome’s tempo-shifting Turn the Lights On is thrillingly unhinged. Provocative, too. Karen Fairchild is a revelation on Girl Crush, a ’50s-sounding ballad with a sexy twist.
The boys, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet, are no slouches, either. Their driving and melodic Faster Gun would be the toughest cut on the Eagles’ classic Desperado album, and now that Taylor Swift has thrown down in the pop camp, Little Big Town captures her country-pop sass on the opening Quit Breaking Up With Me, a surefire hit.
Download: Girl Crush, Live Forever, Faster Gun.
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