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Little Big Town

Pain Killer – 2014 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Little Big Town

For some, listening to Little Big Town will be an act of searching for something at least half as catchy as "Pontoon," yet without success. Whenever a group creates such a fantastically memorable single, the prospect of following it up successfully can be a bit of a handicap. With that said, though, "Pain Killer" is a pretty good pop-country album, as pop-country albums go.

Although Little Big Town has never been known to be rockers, the rollicking "Save Your Sin" is one of this highlights. Sung by Kimberly Schlapman - one of two women in this two-woman, two-man act - it raises the roof like angry, "Rumors"-era Fleetwood Mac.

Of course, there's the obligatory drinking song, which it seems like all country artists must include these days. In LBT's case, "Day Drinking" encourages drinking, even if there's not special occasion for it. It has a cool whistling hook, however.

The title track is faux reggae, and prescribes love instead of alcohol or drugs to relieve pain. Karen Fairchild sings one of the more unusual songs, "Girl Crush." Sung akin to an old, '50s rock ballad with a Bonnie Raitt-like soulful vocal, it speaks about wanting to "taste her lips because they taste like you." It may not rival Katy Perry's "Kissed a Girl" on the controversy scale, but it'll still sound out of place on country radio.

When it comes to girl and guy country groups, Lady Antebellum is still our most consistent album makers. However, Little Big Town's "Pain Killer" will likely leave you feeling no pain.