Country-rock trio Lady Antebellum are back already with Own The Night, the follow-up to last year's huge album Need You Now.
This, the trio's third album, is sure to capitalise on the great success of their second effort.
It was elsewhere earlier in the year, and topped the US Billboard 200 and Canadians Albums Chart, whilst hitting Number 2 and 5 in New Zealand and Australia respectively.
Commercial success isn't always a measure of quality, but in this case, such mainstream praise isn't unfounded.
Starting off with folk-influenced 'We Owned The Night', the Own The Night manages to find a good balance between country and rock, making for an accessible but authentic record.
The dual male/female vocals add a nice dynamic to Lady Antebellum's music, and both Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley pull their weight vocally on the album.
At times, it's hard to deny that there can be a reliance on oft-repeated country cliches, particularly on the slower ballads like 'Cold As Stone'.
Despite not being completely consistent, there are enough great tracks on Own The Night to justify a recommendation.
There are enough unpredictable moments (like the surprisingly dark and, in a way, heavy 'Wanted You More') to keep the album relatively interesting.
In a contrast, the album goes into a piano-driven pop ballad ('As You Turn Away'), allowing the trio to showcase impressive diversity both in instrumentation and vocal talent.
Own The Night manages to justify its commercial success to date, with Lady Antebellum putting out a record that, in spite of some shortcomings, stands up well as a full album.
It's not all perfect (and the inclusion of 'Need You Now' as a bonus track seems desparate), but it has some truly great moments to tie it all together brilliantly.
Female First - Alistair McGeorge
Tagged in Lady Antebellum