Single Review: Lady Antebellum, “Hello World”

A running narration of the most boring drive through town ever.

I realize they’re trying to go for something deep and meaningful here, but it sounds like little more than Bruce Springsteen at his most self-indulgent.

Maybe I’m too cynical, but I never did buy that the plastic bag floating in the wind was beauty personified, and I don’t buy that this particular train of thought has any larger significance. Certainly not enough to justify the wave of bombast that follows his arrival home, a volume of pomp and circumstance that would make Gary LeVox blush.

Four singles in, I had to ask a colleague of mine to explain why she’d said Need You Now was a good album.  She corrected me. “I didn’t say it was good. I said, ‘It’s not bad.'” There’s a lot of distance between those two statements, she explained.

So, “Hello World.” It’s not bad.

Written by Tom Douglas, Tony Lane, and David Lee.

Grade: C

Listen: Hello World


  1. Bruce Springsteen at his most self-indulgent? I have to disagree with you here Kevin. The review of the song is almost spot-on. I would call it “not terrible,” but this song is not as good as Springsteen even at his worst. I almost understand what you mean, but I’m still with Bruce on this one.

  2. Need You Now is a good album – not a great one, but a good one. The last two singles are the weakest songs on the album, save “Stars Tonight.” But the rest are solid.

  3. This song is supposed to be uplifting and inspirational, but I find it to be the most depressing thing I’ve heard on the radio in quite some time. That’s probably a good sign they’ve failed at what they were trying to accomplish.

  4. This is just one of those songs that tries to sound way more meaningful than it actually is. I’m sure they’re trying to say something significant, but it really does just come off as self-indulgent. It has hardly any storyline or melody to speak of.

  5. I agree with you completely. Every time I listen to this song I’m bored out of my mind. I think their hearts were in the right place, but the song feels too much like a flashy display caring. They are trying too hard with this one. I didn’t love the Need You Now album. I miss the naturalness of their first album.

  6. …your review, kevin, works like hazelnut-syrup in a doggy cappuchino – it makes it sort of bearable and not all that bad. still…

    something tells me i could do with a coffee.

  7. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I really do love Lady A. Charles Kelly has a great voice, imho. And I do like this album a lot. Is it true country? Heck no. They are squarely in the pop-country genre. But that doesn’t bother me. I tend to like a lot of pop-country along with a lot of real country sounding songs.

    That said I do have to agree with Jane, in that I was also surprised they released “Hello World” as a single. There were many other songs I thought were stronger. Need You Now, Our Kind of Love, When You Got a Good Thing, Ready to Love Again, but my favorite song on the album is “Love this Pain” which I don’t think has been released yet to radio.

    Oh, and I agree with the C rating. The album itself I think is very good.

  8. The question I have always had with Lady A is who picks thier singles? Both albums have had tracks that to me would have made better choices as singles than ‘I Run to You,’ ‘Hello World’ and dare I say it….. ‘American Honey’ (which i will maintain they were listening to Deana Carter’s ‘Strawberry Wine’ when brainstorming during a writing session).

    Outside of ‘Need You Now’ I have found much of thier music (and def. their choices of singles) to be reaching for some emotional apex and stopping just short of achieving it. It is like the songs have a brain, have bones, have many other essential organs to function but are just missing heart.

  9. Wow – I’m in complete agreement for once. This song is so boring, self-important…they were obviously shooting for “deep” and ended up in a mud puddle. Most of “Need You Now” leaves me numb. And I LIKE Lady A – I just agree with the posted opinions on the superiority of their debut.

  10. “So, “Hello World.” It’s not bad.”

    I thought Lady Antebellum was a promising act with a fresh sound in 2006, but this review sums up their consistently dull career choices the last few years.

    It seems as soon as most new acts garner a hit and instant glorification, they seem to slump furthur into the “dull and boring act/song” category.

    It happened to Lonstar, Rascal Flatts, and now Lady Antebllum. Can we have the Chicks back please?

    This song says nothing profound, and I don’t even think it’s trying to be inspirational. If it was, I would expect them to use brighter imagery than “little girl in rust red minivan with chocolate on her face,” and just surrender and believe, I fall down on my knees.”

    The invitable slump of once-promising groups has risen again:
    Welcome to the club Lady A.

  11. Wow, I’m surprised to read all these comments, I actually LOVE this song. Maybe it’s more the arrangement than anything with the beautiful instruments and the slow and quiet moving into the powerful… something about that moves me. But, I agree that the lyrics are kinda… boring, maybe? They don’t make a lot of sense.

    So here’s my suggestion: forget the lyrics and just listen to the music. You might then be able to appreciate it!

  12. I am a big Bruce fan and when I heard this I thought it might be him. He’s done some weak, blandly produced songs before (remember lucky town? my secret garden or whatever that thing was called?). I’m glad to hear it’s not him :)

    I could see Bruce at some point releasing some material on country radio, though. Some of his rootsy-but-still-a-little-commercial stuff might find a whole new audience…

  13. i think that bashing this song because of the way it sounds isnt as important as the message it really did get across its a great song and has a great meaning i think its fantastic

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