Single Review: Lady Antebellum, “Our Kind of Love”

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June 3, 2010

Lady Antebellum’s key strength is delivering gritty, tangible emotion that can breathe life into the glossiest of production and the vaguest of lyrics. That’s what elevates “Need You Now” to an aching confession, and that’s how, on a song that compares innocence to a condiment, Hillary Scott’s vocal performance alone manages to tell an evocative story.

“Our Kind of Love” has no such redeeming quality. Scott and Kelley’s performance is uncharacteristically dull, lacking the kind of chemistry and energy needed to sell a song about loving with reckless abandon. The lyrics are trite to the point of silly (“You wear a smile like a summer sky just shining down on me and you”) and unlike most songs in the trio’s catalogue, the production and melody are uninspired and oddly disconnected from the artists. And while I still think Scott’s vocal imperfections do more as a whole to help than hurt her, I have no tolerance for the dissonance you hear in the third chorus on “never knowing what we’re gonnna find,” especially in a studio recording. To that point, the whole song feels a little bit like a half-hearted demo.

The most frustrating thing about this choice of single is the oversight of three far superior up-tempo songs on Need You Now, the best of which is “Perfect Day”. In it, the trio skillfully blends the breezy joy missing from “Our Kind of Love” with just a tinge of wistfulness – a delicious, potent combination. More of that and less of this, please.

Written by Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott & Busbee

Grade: C-

Listen: “Our Kind of Love”

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  1. TomNo Gravatar says:

    …good luck with this dog, lady a.

  2. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    “and that’s how, on a song that compares innocence to a condiment, Hillary Scott’s vocal performance alone manages to tell an evocative story.”

    No matter where our differing degrees of Lady A appreciation may take us in life, my respect for Tara Seetharam will endure – steady as a preacher, free as a weed – because of sentences like the above. Great review!

  3. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Dan :) Is honey a condiment? Who even knows!

  4. AaronNo Gravatar says:

    I think this song sounds great, not one of their best though. But it sounds a heck of a lot better live! I pretty much just got home from seeing them perform it on their tour stop here in Arizona with Tim McGraw and they brought the song to life when they performed it.

  5. JoJoNo Gravatar says:

    Not crazy about the song overall, but I like the music is in the very beginning. Sounds like a cross between the Charlie Brown music and “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. And then I hear music that is similar to that in “Wide Open Spaces.” Anyone else hear this at all?? lol

  6. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Haha, I looked it up when I read the review to be sure:

    condiment |ˈkändəmənt|
    noun
    a substance such as salt or ketchup that is used to add flavor to food.

    I put honey on certain cereals, so I say yes.

  7. KNo Gravatar says:

    I agree, great job on the reveiw Tara. “Need You Now” was the first song I loved from Lady Antebellum- I even considered buying the album. But I find this song (as most others on the album) to be intresting and fresh in terms of polish and sound, but all too often the dull lyrics aren’t enough to reedem them artistically for me.

    This song is no expection. I love the fresh, viabrant sound, but the lyrics ruin it for me. This definatly won’t be a repeat listen. I was dissapointed when I listened to the album as whole. This band has proven they have tons of potential- too bad they throw it away on useless fluff like this. I really hope they enjoyed the monster hit with “Need You Now” because people are going to forget about their music if they follow up with dreck like this.

  8. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I can definitely agree with what you said about the lyrics – definitely a bit dull. But I actually loved the production more than on any of their previous singles. I never noticed the vocal weaknesses before, but after giving the song a few more listens, I suppose they probably could have done better. I personally thought Charles and Hillary had good chemistry, and I enjoyed the feeling of interplay between them on this single. Overall, I thought the song managed to convey the feeling it was going for. But after reading your review, I’m thinking I may have been a little too generous.
    Here’s my review – probably not my best, but I’ll do better next time:
    http://1to10countryreview.blogspot.com/2010/05/lady-antebellum-our-kind-of-love.html

  9. JCHNo Gravatar says:

    Wonderfully written. The review…not the track.

  10. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Amen to JCH.

    This is the first that I’ve really noticed Hillary’s vocal deficiency. Ouch.

  11. Julia C HNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think this is the first time that I have noticed Hillary’s vocal deficiency but I think this is the first time that it has been rather blatant within a single.

  12. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar says:

    It’s bad, isn’t it? I like the texture of Hillary’s voice, and I think it lends itself to some really expressive performances. But I just can’t bring myself to excuse blatantly bad singing. I’ll spare you all my Lee DeWyze soapbox.

  13. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I finally broke down and edited my review of this song, lowering the score a bit. I had read enough well-reasoned criticism of the song to make me decide that my original review was a little off.

  14. [...] Single Review: Lady Antebellum, “Our Kind of Love” [...]

  15. RyleeNo Gravatar says:

    Lady Antebellum gives the country world a lighthearted song titled “Our Kind Of Love” which contains their energetic voices, poetic, country-pop style, and a carefree feel. Lady Antebellum transforms country to a more contemporary rhythm to suit the youth and bring enthusiasm to all ages.

    There were not any historic, economic, or scientific lines in the song “Our Kind Of Love,” although I found many personal elements in this song. One personal element was “I love the way that you were up for anything / Never worried ‘bout what people say” (8-9). Lady Antebellum is showing how they feel with this person. During this particular verse, the girl in the band is singing. She loves how her boyfriend is up for anything and doesn’t care about what anyone says of them. This is really personal and shows her inner feelings towards him. Another personal element is “You somehow always know just what to say” (25). When she is not feeling good, when she is hurt, when she is in a bad mood, her boyfriend always knows what to say to make her feel better and cheer her up. There is a romantic, personal effect of this line that shows the connection between two people. The last personal reference I found in this song was “Always holding hands, never making plans / Just living in the moment, babe” (21-22). In these verses, Lady Antebellum is showing the personal relationship between the two people. They hold hands and live in the moment with just each other. The song “Our Kind Of Love” contains many personal references that show the unique kind of love that two people share.

    Lady Antebellum incorporates multiple literary elements into this particular song. A simile is portrayed when Lady Antebellum sings “You wear your smile like a summer sky / Just shining down on me and you” (3-4). They are saying that the person’s smile is as bright as the summer sky and that it shines like the sun shining down on them. The verses that say “I swear your heart is a free bird / On a lazy Sunday afternoon” (5-6) display a poetic device called a metaphor. A metaphor compares two things without using like or as. In these verses, the girl is singing and she is saying that her boyfriend’s heart is like a free bird on a lazy Sunday afternoon. In other words, his heart is free, crazy, and up for any kind of adventure. Another poetic device that I saw in this song was context. This is displayed in these verses: “Skipping rocks and leaving footprints / Down along the riverbank” (19-20). The details of the words and the circumstances of the situations show the deep meaning of their kind of love. It shows that they are up for anything and they are a casual couple who are just living in the moment. The last literary elements that I found was a simile. “Just like driving on an open highway” (13) and “Whoa, yeah, that’s our kind of love” (16) connect to display a simile. These verses were written by Lady Antebellum to show that the kind of love between the two people in this song is just like driving down an open highway. In other words, they are free to do whatever they want, they don’t care what they are going to do next, and they are only trying to live their lives to the fullest.

    In “Our Kind Of Love,” I found that there are modern and postmodern thoughts. The modern thought in the song was about cultivating presence. In life, we invest ourselves in people. This is displayed throughout this entire song. This whole song is singing about how they love everything about each other, “I love the way that you were up for anything” (8), and how the two people have such a great love for each other, “That’s our kind of love, girl / Dontcha know it” (52-53). One postmodern thought that was portrayed in this song was the play and chance. Lady Antebellum shows how the two people were up for anything, everything happened just because, nothing was planned, and they were “never making plans” (21). Another postmodern thought that was displayed was the interest in surfaces. In other words, everything is about what we like, what we can relate to, and how the song made us feel. This whole song was about the love they had for each other and about what they loved about it. Everything about this song was about themselves. “Our Kind Of Love” is about the feelings that the two people have toward each other and nothing about the rest of the world.

    Overall, the meaning of the song was that the love the two people have for each other is free, adventurous, and exciting. The intention was to show the happiness of this person and how much Lady Antebellum loved the love it felt for the other person.

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