Lady Antebellum – “Hello World”
Songwriters: Tom Douglas, Tony Lane and David Lee
Where are Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler when you need them?
With its stylistically studied and self-serious approach, super-group Lady Antebellum’s latest single “Hello World” would work better as fodder for the punny pair–or any other comedic duo–as a left-of-the-mark Saturday Night Live skit than a pseudo-inspirational anthem for country radio.
Where the wildly successful “Need You Now” relied on its singers’ honest and hungry vulnerability, this tune finds Charles Kelley stilted and melodramatic. Compounded with Dave Haywood’s tinkling piano backing, a driving rhythm ripped straight from the Coldplay playbook and monotonous, interchangeable verses, the only resulting motivation is the urge to take a snooze.
It’s unfortunate, because the song’s underlying messages of faith and inspiration are painted in colorful vignettes highlighted by a “rust red minivan” and “little white crosses like angels in the yard.” Lyrics such as “Maybe I should stop on in, say a prayer/Maybe talk to God like he is there/Oh I know he’s there, yeah I know he’s there” would roll off Alan Jackson’s tongue without a second thought, but only get lost here in the drama of the song’s production.
As usual, Hillary Scott’s vocals are a shimmering bright spot amidst the heavy-handedness. As “Hello World” nears its end, however, even Lady A’s leading lady can’t save things. It’s almost as if the group picks up on its own demise and throws together a bombastic blast of noise to shake (or perhaps wake) things up, to no avail.
“Hello World” is a dramatic shift from the group’s usual radio themes of love and lust. Perhaps a mildly self-indulgent song masquerading as a call for inner world peace is a natural next step for a trio receiving equal parts commercial and industry support across multiple genres. However, that’s no consolation for country fans who have grown used to looking to the group for fresh, honest country-pop music.
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