music • The last year has been great for women in country music, with relative newcomers Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe releasing sublime albums, Miranda Lambert racking up awards port and starboard, and even Taylor Swift creating a surprisingly relevant, ground-breaking collection of songs that pushed the expectations of what country music is.
The trend continues on May 7, with three albums from women's perspectives debuting: the Pistol Annies' sophomore record "Annie Up," Dixie Chick Natalie Maines' solo debut "Mother," and Lady Antebellum's much-anticipated fourth record. Lady Antebellum features two men along with Hillary Scott, but Scott's strengths as a songwriter and singer are front-and-center on "Golden," with lead single "Downtown" a song that you hate on the first listen but then love on the second, with Scott cleverly skewering her partner for being a homebody: "I'm only counting on your cancellation / When I should be counting on you at my door."
Of the three country releases, "Golden" is the slickest and most mainstream, with the trio following a formula that has worked well for them before, especially songs about lost love with exquisite harmonizing between Scott and fellow lead singer Charles Kelley. The album includes both sweet, full-bodied songs that will sound great on the radio this summer, but also features a lot of filler.