Little Big Town brings sunshine and authenticity to country music

Photo courtesy of Genius

Country group Little Big Town released their latest album, “Mr. Sun,” on September 16. The album features songs “All Summer,” “One More Song,” and more.

Founded in 1998, American country band Little Big Town released their latest album, “Mr. Sun,” on September 16. Since their inception, Little Big Town have become one of the most popular country music groups in the industry after winning three Grammy Awards for Best Country Music Duo/Group Performance.

“Mr. Sun” is the band’s 10th studio album since debut. The new album dives into authenticity and conveys a sense of authenticity to its fan base. In an Instagram post on Friday announcing the album’s release, the band wrote, “It’s full of love, grief, truth and it’s authentic to who we are as individuals and as a band.” The band went on to say they wanted that fans relate to the stories told through the songs.

“Mr. Sun” consists of 16 tracks, each telling an original story through meaningful and expressive lyrics. The four band members, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook, execute each lyric with a sweet Southern twang , intertwining each word with each other, creating effortless movement throughout the songs.

The tracks are built through the work of powerful lyrics, embodying the human emotion behind the longing for someone’s presence, the excitement of hot summers, the pain of heartache and the solace found in familiarity. In the track “Last Day on Earth”, Schlapman sings “You can be my shelter / I can be your favorite summer”, reflecting the need for reliability and dependency in life.

In contrast, the song “Whiskey Colored Eyes”, while still composed of meaningful lyrics, should be played on a relaxing, warm summer day. The carefree lyrics mingle with the mood contained behind the instrumental music, establishing a simple sound for the end of the summer season.

Although the album contains a few upbeat and energetic songs, many others are packed with lyrics about life experiences, relationships and love. Specifically, the album’s final track, “Friends of Mine,” is written with guidance and admiration for meaningful and lasting friendships.

In the second verse of “Friends of Mine,” the lyrics “Be in the moment / Find the strength not to give in / And we’ll sail to better days” are sung, giving listeners hope, inspiration and courage. The dedication to friendships and relationships that Little Big Town shows through its songs reflects the sincerity and vulnerability of its audience.

The retro and unparalleled instrumental sound behind every song on the tracklist is responsible for bringing uniqueness and life to the album. Setting “Mr. Sun” apart from their previous albums, Little Big Town combined the hum of guitar with the smoothness of piano, complementing the sound with rhythm from drums to create a nostalgic 1970s tone for their music. The album’s first song, “All Summer”, embodies all aspects of the nostalgic Southern summer story told through melodious music.

Every track that makes up “Mr. Sun” is carefully executed to reflect the most authentic version of Little Big Town. The experience of listening to the album precipitates memories of long summer days, love, loss and of a young adult in spirit, accomplishing the composition of an album to listen to as the summer season fades into autumn.

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Toya J. Bell