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Little Big Town, ‘Tornado’ – Song Review

Capitol Nashville

‘Tornado’ is a bold choice for Little Big Town‘s next single, as it takes on another storm song from a country music superstar with more clout — Carrie Underwood. As an album, ‘Tornado‘ is sharp and uncompromising, so this brashness should come as no surprise. Few will argue that there isn’t room for both of these heavyweights on iPods and country radio.

Karen Fairchild is the group’s go-to girl for attitude, and she slings it on this relentless foot-stomper that somehow still feels understated. This is the most frightening thing, perhaps. The grandeur of ‘Blown Away’ casts it as an exercise in theater. Fairchild and her bandmates don’t suspend reality, leaving one to feel that they will indeed tear your house down if you cross them.

Yeah I’m gonna lift this house / Spin it all around / Toss it in the air and put it in the ground / Make sure you’re never found,” the foursome sing during a chorus that defines the track. Natalie Hemby and Delta Maid penned the lyrics, which are about a woman who’s taking revenge on her cheating and abusive husband.

Thought you’d take a swing / Try another girl, try another night / But it’s the pain that brings my / Force of nature back to life / I’m a tornado / More disturbed than an F5.”

The brooding mood is further constructed by the sweeps of two competing electric guitars and the echoes of ghost laughter from the middle on. Too loud and this effect would feel like a gimmick. Producer Jay Joyce controls the levels just right to allow danger to overtake this song like kudzu.

The winds are getting stronger / And the sky is falling through / You ain’t got much longer / ‘Til the rage rips off the roof,” Fairchild sings before the foot stomping fades away. It’s possible that much like Miranda Lambert‘s early efforts in rage, ‘Tornado’ won’t top the charts, but for the first time since their debut seven years ago, Little Big Town has released back-to-back singles one feels compelled to own. That is the stronger of the two statements.

4.5 Stars

Listen to Little Big Town, ‘Tornado’

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