Single Review: Lady Antebellum, “We Owned the Night”

Give them a good hook, as in “Need You Now” or “Just a Kiss,” and they’re blandly pleasant. Take away the hook and they’re just straight bland.

I feel sad for the young people whose lives Lady A are soundtracking. This music just isn’t built to last beyond a few elevator rides, and it’s going to sap all the fun out of those kids’ nostalgia sessions.

Grade: D+

Listen: We Owned the Night


  1. I would like to like them, since I think Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott have good voices. Though I’ve never really dug into their albums, I all-too-often find their single releases to be very ‘vanilla.’

    I’ve heard a few people calling this single more “rootsy” or more country than their usual offerings, but I don’t hear it. To me it just sounds like regular Lady A with a mandolin thrown in.

  2. I think most Lady A fans would tell you what you can do with your sadness. You continue to say “This music just isn’t built to last beyond a few elevator rides, and it’s going to sap all the fun out of those kids’ nostalgia sessions.” So because you don’t like their music, the young Lady A fans of today cannot possibly fondly remember Lady A songs 40 or 50 years from now. My wife and I still have fun listening to the rock’n’roll, doo-wop, folk music, etc. that we grew up with in the 50’s and 60’s, the soundtrack of our youth.

    As a critic, I’m sure you are giving your honest opinion of the merits of the song. But I think you’ve gone well beyond that role here.

  3. I like this more than “Just a Kiss.” Can’t really pinpoint why, though. It doesn’t seem to go anywhere, but I like its aesthetic.

    And I’ll agree with Bob to the extent that Lady A’s first album (and sort of their second) has a handful of songs that have already soundtracked my life, in a good way. Plus, I actually think Lady A does nostalgia really well, though that wasn’t quite what you were hitting on.

  4. Bob,

    I can see where what I wrote may sound unduly haughty. I meant it as largely tongue-in-cheek, though – other people are free to enjoy whatever music resonates with them, and if they happen to still enjoy Lady A in forty or fifty years, more power to them. I value the subjectivity of the music-listening experience, and think there’s much worse music out there than this band.

    That said, I do think they make the type of ultra-polished, edge-free pop music that burns bright in the present but doesn’t usually stand the test of time (at least, not for anyone but the most devoted fans). I’d like to hear them dig up that blazing “Love Don’t Live Here” sound.

  5. I listened to this the other day, and Jesus, it’s dull! They’ve gone really downhill since Need You Now, as they seem to have forgotten to write any hooks or bother to do anything interesting with their instrumentation.

    It’s a shame, because the first album is good – the second one is mostly pretty average, other than the title track, and I shan’t be bothering with this one.

  6. Spot on review Dan.

    I think that Lady Antebellum are overrated. I’m sorry to say it, because I thought that most of their first album (not the singles) was really good. If they insist on singing pop songs, they should at least make them sound interesting.

  7. “I’d like to hear them dig up that blazing “Love Don’t Live Here” sound.”

    I like Lady A, but I was REALLY disappointed when I got their first album after hearing how gritty and cool “Love Don’t Live Here” sounded then finding the rest of the record was slick (but overall still good) pop country stuff. I think they put out some of the best produced, performed and written music out there, but they aren’t the kind of band that will ever surprise you. It’s all kind of “paint-by-numbers” music.

  8. Lady Antebellum, you have been staying in the too safe side. Pleasantly bland. Yeah. Spot on

    Dann is right, I don’t know if I will be able to remember this song once its chart run dies.

  9. Sorry, huge Lady A fan here and I love it. I listened to it like 20 times in two days when it first came out. Can’t wait for the cd on September 13th!

  10. @Hoggy they do not insist on singing pop songs. None of their songs sound pop. And to the person who said that they overrated, well they are not.

  11. The album leaked yesterday, and having listened to the whole thing, I can say it sounds like “Need You Now” (the album), part II.

    It’s dull, bland, boring. The songs are lyrically and sonically similar, and all the songs lack catchy hooks or emotional depth.

    It continues to baffle me as to why Lady A chooses to record such dull, depressing songs, when they are three young adults at the prime of their lives.

    I wanted to believe this album would be slightly better than NYN, but sadly, it’s not.

    Not only does the album continue the theme of dull songs and depressing melodies, but there isn’t one standout track, or anything to redeem the album as a whole, as the title track did for the last album.

    It may be too early to call, but I’m going to call this one of the most boring albums of 2011-2012.

  12. @ carly. Well, maybe they’re not pop, but they certainly aren’t my definition of country. I stress that I did really like their first album. I just find their newer, less “organic” music to be too bland and thus it baffles me as to how they are having so much success on the radio.

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