If you, like many people, listened to Little Big Town’s “Better Man” upon its release 2 years and thought, this is a little Taylor Swift-ish, you weren’t wrong. I actually said it sounded a lot like the Red area, but couldn’t make sense of it because at the time, that didn’t make a ton of sense. When you first hear Sugarland’s “Babe,” which features Swift, you don’t have to wonder– she’s on the song.
Sugarland’s story of how they ended up with a Swift-penned tune is much different than the other songs she’s given up– they are on the same record label, it comes after Swift won a CMA Award for writing “Better Man” and Sugarland hasn’t released new music since 2012.
The duo told E!, “When Sugarland started out, Taylor was actually out on the road with us but she was much younger, she was like 16 or something,” Kristian said. “She bought one of our records before we signed record deal—sometimes you make them by yourself. We’ve known each other since that spot. When she heard that we were coming back, we share the same record label, she was like, ‘hey, would they consider this song.”
Swift wrote “Babe” with Train’s Pat Monahan and though we’re not quite sure when it was actually written it definitely falls in line with the Red album themes and collaborators. Red was the first time Swift stepped out of country to collaborate on songs and the album features co-writes with Ed Sheeran, Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol and Dan Wilson from Semisonic.
“Babe” sounds like a Swift song, with Jennifer Nettles taking over lead vocals and that’s not a bad thing, but this one might have been served up better without as much production. The live version is likely going to be pretty fierce.
“Babe” is off of Sugarland’s upcoming Bigger album, due out June 8.
And yes, it a poppier version of “The Last Time” which features Lightbody.
The lyrics are similar, which isn’t off for certain Swift eras. These days you can just tell when she’s behind a song.