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Golden by Lady Antebellum This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Country music has channeled a number of sub-genres recently. You can find anything from bubblegum pop to R&B mixed into modern country these days. I have not been particularly fond of the music released this year, especially the country music, despite the fact that it is my favorite genre. Lady Antebellum's new album, “Golden,” is the only exception.

“Golden” is the trio's fourth studio release, and the first I purchased. I found their last two albums defeated by dark mixing and string overload. Luckily, there is little to none of that on this new 12-track record.

With this new material, the band is going in a more folk-pop direction. Don't let that turn you away though; “Golden” is still heavily ­influenced by country. The album is very upbeat and basically contains a love story spread throughout the songs.

Charles Kelley, male frontman, dominates the tracks, belting out lyrics. He shines on tracks like the love-loss-themed ballad “Goodbye Town.” He shows off his full capabilities in the sincere duet with band member Hillary Scott, “All for Love.”

Scott is featured more prominently on this record than on their previous. She sounds more confident than ever in the album's lead track, “Get to Me.” She shows no signs of vulnerability or holding back, like in the past.

My favorite song, which I feel sums up the record, is the title-track. Kelley takes the lead and offers a refreshing texture to his voice.

Overall, “Golden” is Lady Antebellum's most solid offering yet, probably the most ear-catching since their debut in 2008. You will find no skip-over tracks here. “Golden” will heighten the band's success more than their previous three albums already have.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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