Lady Antebellum, ‘Goodbye Town’ – Song Review
Charles Kelley’s desperation turns to anger by the end of ‘Goodbye Town,’ the second single from Lady Antebellum‘s new ‘Golden’ album. The song finds the trio working their bread and butter: heartbreak and a yearning for love lost. Sonically, this song forges ahead with fresh production, but it’s not quite as exciting as the lead single, ‘Downtown.’
Kelley carries the vocals, although Hillary Scott takes over for two lines of the chorus that follows the bridge. In the past, their voices have provided two perspectives of one story, but on ‘Goodbye Town’ they share a purpose.
“This ain’t nothing / Nothing but a goodbye town / These streets are only bringing me down / Gotta find a way to finally get out / Out of this goodbye town,” the sing during each chorus. The most defining element is the chorus of “oh-oh-ohs” that back up the two lead voices.
That choir is a pleasant surprise — in fact, the vocals overall are pleasantly surprising. The quality of this trio’s harmonies has never been in doubt, but the ways Kelley and Scott weave around one another had become predictable over the course of three albums. You expect certain echoes and answers to calls, which makes the experiences less of a thrill.
Through two singles there’s less of an attempt by both lead singers to be a part of the other’s solo moments on ‘Golden.’ There’s a new maturity present in what you don’t hear.
“We sat down on those courthouse steps / Fourth of July those fireworks over our heads / And they’d ring the bells of that little church / No, there ain’t nowhere I can look that doesn’t hurt / She’s gone, but I still feel her on my skin / She’s gone, and she ain’t coming back again,” Kelley sings to close the second verse.
‘Goodbye Town’ is better than many of the Lady Antebellum’s ballads, but not all. Kelley’s emotion is nearly tangible as she shouts “To hell if I’m sticking around” near the end. That’s a new expression for him — or at least one he just learned how to properly feature. The growth of Lady Antebellum — already one of the top groups in country music — is as exciting as this new music.
Listen to Lady Antebellum, ‘Goodbye Town’