Little Big Town, "The Reason Why"

77 Billboard Rating

The star of any Little Big Town album is the harmonizing, a four-part treat that is fortunately offered in abundance on the group's latest release, "The Reason Why." The near-a cappella openings to "Why, Oh Why" and "All the Way Down" are so tight and melodious that it's easy to get stuck on those two parts alone. But that, of course, would be a mistake since "The Reason Why" boasts plenty of other reasons to recommend it. The 12-track set plows some new ground for Little Big Town, from the way Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook's duet intertwines with the group harmonies on the title track to the traditional country flavor of "You Can't Have Everything" and the bluegrass tinge on "Little White Church." "Life Rolls On," "Runaway Train" and "All the Way Down" are buoyant bursts of joy, while "Kiss Goodbye," "Shut Up Train" and "Rain on a Tin Roof" are bona fide heart-string shredders.