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Tornado by Little Big Town

Sometimes change is good and sometimes it’s not. Thankfully, in the case of Little Big Town the former is true.

Working with producer Wayne Kirkpatrick, the foursome scored three Top 10 singles over the course of three albums, but could never get in a consistent groove. Their music was highly regarded by industry and fans alike, but it just never quite connected in the way the band hoped. Enter Jay Joyce, best known for his work with Eric Church.

Tornado, LBT’s latest, does not represent so much a departure from their past work as it does a willingness to expand the group’s boundaries. The change in producers is already paying dividends: the group recently scored its first-ever No. 1 single with the summer-centric “Pontoon,” thanks to infectious lyrics and impeccable timing.

Interestingly, the group also abandoned it’s long-held philosophy of writing the majority of the songs it recorded and turned to outside songwriters to inject some new perspective into the process. The result is their recording of “Pontoon,” which was written by Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird and Barry Dean. The lead single is just one of the gems to be discovered on this fine album.

“Sober,” another outside song, is a clever tune that compares true love to alchohol and drugs while “Your Side of the Bed” is an angst-filled ode to a couple drifting apart. The title track is the kind of funky I-am-woman number most recently associated with the likes of Miranda Lambert, but handled expertly by LBT’s Karen Fairchild.

Every which way Tornado turns, old and new Little Big Town fans are sure to follow.

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