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    Golden Capitol Nashville
    1. Golden Capitol Nashville
    2. Golden (Dlx) Capitol

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Review Text Lady Antebellum's heart and soul belong to Nashville, the place where dreams are packaged, polished, and sold. The trio, led equally by vocalists Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, and rounded out by by jack-of-all-trades instrumentalist Dave Haywood, are designed to appeal to the largest possible audience and, as such, they're smart enough to not mess with a winning formula, choosing only to sweeten it on their fourth album, Golden. Like the other three (along with their 2012 holiday stopgap On This Winter's Night), Golden was produced by Paul Worley, a longtime Music City fixture who truly made his reputation producing the Dixie Chicks, but there's no hint of the rowdiness that punctuated even the Chicks' glossiest work. Instead, this is all shimmering and slick, more of an adult contemporary pop album than a country record. Apart from the intro of "Get to Me," there's nary a hint of twang here, the tempos never escalate -- the sprightliest number is the bouncy, effervescent "Downtown"; the most insistent is the rocking "Better Off Now (That You're Gone)," whose loudness fades once the verse kicks in -- and the whole vibe is irrepressibly friendly, best heard on quietly insistent pieces of pop like "Can't Stand the Rain." So cheerful is Golden that it seems a little churlish to complain that the songs here aren't grabbers: they're slow burns, designed to sink into the subconscious through repeated plays on radio, in-store sound systems, waiting rooms, and bumper music. And that's fine: it's professional product at its finest, meticulously assembled, polished until it gleams, designed to be nothing more than thoroughly agreeable. It fulfills its aims so thoroughly that it's a wonder Golden concludes with "Generation Away," a song with muddled socio-political ambitions, where Scott and Kelley hope they're remembered as fondly as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Martin Luther King, Jr., so they're documenting today -– as they're "right here making history" -- for future generations to cherish. You could call this hubris but mostly it's just baffling, considering that Lady Antebellum go out of their way to not make waves; they may represent the safeness of their time but they're in no way paving the way toward the future, and the suggestion that they see themselves this way goes a long way toward explaining the tricks celebrity can play on a mind. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Get to Me - 4:49
  2. 2. Goodbye Town - 5:48
  3. 3. Nothin' Like the First Time - 4:44
  4. 4. Downtown - 3:15
  5. 5. Better Off Now (That You're Gone) - 3:03
  6. 6. It Ain't Pretty - 3:29
  7. 7. Can't Stand the Rain - 3:11
  8. 8. Golden - 3:27
  9. 9. Long Teenage Goodbye - 4:42
  10. 10. All for Love - 3:17
  11. 11. Better Man - 4:04
  12. 12. Generation Away - 4:04

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