Major country singers such as Dolly Parton, Faith Hill and Taylor Swift have exhibited a crossover into the pop genre from their country roots — a trend that is now emerging in the music of country quartet Little Big Town. The group’s 2016 album “Wonderlust” was produced by pop superstar Pharrell Williams and surprised audiences with its eight upbeat pop-like R&B tracks. Just as country fans began to accept the group’s crossover to the pop world, on Feb. 24 Little Big Town released their 2017 album “The Breaker,” which includes 12 undeniably country tunes that trace back to their origins.

The renowned vocal harmonies of Little Big Town return to the spotlight of country music in “The Breaker” through a few emotional pieces. According to Entertainment Weekly, “Better Man,” one of the more emotional pieces on the record, soared to the top of country charts. Written by Taylor Swift, the song tells the unfortunate story of a breakup and listeners are immediately welcomed by piano, percussion and Karen Fairchild’s memorable vocals, which dominate the album. “Better Man” brings fans back to the earlier style of Little Big Town with beautiful harmonies.

Another song that tells the honest story of breakups is “When Someone Stops Loving You.” In this song, Little Big Town sends listeners on an emotional rollercoaster due to both the message and the delivery of the song. “When Someone Stops Loving You” explains the painful reality that, when someone breaks up with you, the rest of the world doesn’t care. The group sings, “When someone stops loving you, it don’t make the evening news. It don’t keep the sun from rising, the clock from winding, a heart from beating, even when you want it to.” While singing these lyrics, Little Big Town re-introduces their talented use of harmonies.

However, not all the songs on the new album carry a disheartening tone. Songs such as “Happy People,” “Night on our Side” and “We Went to the Beach” have a relaxed vibe, which made me want to take a road trip with the new album plugged into the aux cord. When listening to “We Went to the Beach” a Fairfield student can’t help but relate the lyrics to their own days spent at Lantern Point. The quartet sings, “We went to the beach, and in the middle of March we put real life starts and partied so hard we could barely remember a thing. It was PBRs and tiki bars, don’t take my fake ID. It was cigarettes, girls we just met and making out on lifeguard seats.” Sung in a combination of upbeat rhythms and harmonies, “We Went to the Beach” is also accompanied with cheerful guitar chords and a worry-free tone.

“The Breaker” has Little Big Town fans excited about the return to their country roots. It’s undeniable that Little Big Town belongs in the country genre. Their quality of composition and ability to emote through their vocal harmonies shine through country rhythms and songs, and although it was an interesting idea to dabble in pop and R&B genres, I think their decision to return to their country roots is far better. Although their tasteful harmonies and emotional messages were missed last year, the resurgence of their talent makes it feel as if Little Big Town never left the country scene. With a combination of heartbreaking relationship messages and upbeat, darty vibe tunes, Little Big Town’s new album is sure to move its way through the charts and re-establish the quartet’s respectable career in the country genre.

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-- Editor-In-Chief Emeritus-- Digital Journalism

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