Single Review: Little Big Town, “Happy People”

“Happy People”
Little Big Town

Written by Lori McKenna and Hailey Whitters

Patty Loveless once said that her job as a singer is to not get in the way of the song.

Little Big Town have a great song in “Happy People,” full of wisdom and life advice that would probably save the world if everyone adhered to it.

But the band gets in the way of a great song by singing it all in subdued harmonies throughout. The lyrics are remarkably strong, and they needed the spotlight of a clearly discernible lead vocal to maximize their impact.

It’s still a very good record. The harmonies come to life in the chorus, and when a song is this great, you can only get in its way so much. But I suspect the best renditions of this song will be the live ones.

Grade: B


  1. Love the lyrics. I’m not surprised that one of the writers is Lori McKenna. (Never heard of Hailey Whitters before this morning.) I’d like to hear a version of Happy People with the clearly discernible lead vocal you suggest even though I’ll buy it as is.

  2. They lyrics are great, and (despite the production, which I agree with Kevin on), I love this song.

    Lori McKenna is a legend, of course. Hailey Whitters (the co-writer) is an excellent songwriter, and I hope she gains more popularity/people record more of her songs. Here’s her singing this live, for those interested in how it sounds with a lead singer:

    For those interested, a few other great songs of Hailey’s besides this are:

    One More Hell (written after her brother died)

    Low All Afternoon (later recorded by Martina McBride)

    Get Around

    Her work is definitely worth checking out. She has one album that came out in 2015, and hopefully many more in the future.

  3. I would like an acoustic version of this, or just one without all the drums. Really, it’s the drums that drag this away from the A it should have, it’s all just bumpa-bumpa-bumpa-bumpa throughout and it distracts from everything.

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