Since they released their self-titled debut album in 2002, Little Big Town has continued to hit their stride time and time again. When you think they’ve earned their last big hit, they come back even stronger. From The Road to Here in 2005 to 2012’s defining Tornado and their most recent record, 2017’s The Breaker, the harmonious four-piece push boundaries but remain true to country’s ethos. With such a massive hit in 2016 with “Better Man,” the stage was set for an even more intriguing chapter. One Country takes a look back at their incredibly impressive catalog for their best songs of all time. There are hits, sure, but some of their best work is nestled as deep cuts.
10 Best Songs From Little Big Town:
“Beat Up Bible” (from 2017’s The Breaker)
Kimberly Schlapman really can sell a ballad like no other. Focused on the importance of faith, and, most importantly, the Bible, she reflects on the passage of time, death and how to cope. It’s one of the group’s most visceral moments…ever. “All you gotta do is just believe…in this beat-up Bible,” she whispers.
“Wounded” (from 2005’s The Road to Here)
Before the band really began pushing the stylistic boundaries on later albums, their early work was bluegrass-inspired, with plenty of steel guitar and banjo. “I’m wounded, all tore up inside over you,” the four-piece lament, juxtaposed against the high-powered plucking and jovial melody.
“Sober” (from 2012’s Tornado)
Terrestrial radio can be rather disappointing. Case in point: this smoldering mid-tempo did not go No. 1. How and why is an utter mystery. The quartet compare love to the high of alcohol, and it’s magical.
“Shut Up Train” (from 2010’s The Reason Why)
As the title suggests, the song unravels the story of an overbearing locomotive disrupting her thoughts. In the aftermath of a breakup, Karen Fairchild wallows in her sorrow over one lone acoustic guitar, but she can’t seem to get her feelings in order. “I don’t need no more pain, so, shut up, train,” she coos.
“Evangeline” (from 2007’s A Place to Land)
The group details a harrowing story of verbal abuse, which, they warn, can be just as damaging as physical. They plead with a woman named Evangeline that “it ain’t love” and that “he won’t lay a finger on you / he won’t wreck your pretty face / but hell tell you that your worthless, just to put you in your place.” Probably one of their most underrated recordings.
“Tornado” (from 2012’s Tornado)
With evident southern-gothic inspiration, particularly in the witchy music video, the song is heavy on the percussion and the metaphors. Fairchild compares herself to the unrelenting force of nature, that of a tornado and it’s power to lift a house from its foundation and ability to “toss it in the air.”
“Stay” (from 2005’s The Road to Here)
The track was originally recorded for their 2002 self-titled debut, but they revisited it on their follow-up. They’ve stripped away the pop-country production for a earthier rendition. Schlapman once again takes the lead vocal, and they offer up some of their most satisfying harmonies ever.
“Little White Church” (from 2010’s The Reason Why)
A strong woman gives her suitor an ultimatum: “you can’t ride this gravy chain,” “no more calling me baby,” “no more lovin’ like crazy” until we get married. From the swinging bluegrass-lean to the killer guitar solo, this remains one of LBT’s best toe-tappers. “Momma warned me about your game,” Fairchild later avows.
“Bones” (from 2005’s The Road to Here)
From the swampy guitar playing to the feverish lead vocals, this mid-tempo rattles with the past–lurking in the shadows and “waiting til the sun to go down.” Most of the song is sung in unison, with harmonies sprinkled throughout, but the charm lies in the mood they create.
“Silver and Gold” (from 2014’s Pain Killer)
LBT’s sixth studio album is, perhaps, their most musically-adventurous. They dabble in harder southern rock and adult contemporary pop than they had previously done. The bookend “Silver and Gold” is an atmospheric send-off; their gliding harmonies are among their finest here, creating a mood to encompass the entire journey–rather than having an explosive ending.