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
Listen: “Our Kind of Love”