Lady Antebellum's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum perform onstage at the 2014 CMA Festival on June 8, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum perform onstage at the 2014 CMA Festival on June 8, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn.

A decade into their Gold and Platinum layered career, Lady Antebellum are still topping the charts. Their latest disc, Heart Break, debuted atop the Country Albums chart, and they continue to break new ground on their You Look Good tour, taking their music from everywhere from Bakersfield to South Africa this year.

Picking the ten best Lady Antebellum songs seems easy – until you go back and view their catalog as a whole. Then, you realize how the musicianship of Dave Haywood, and the vocals of Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott are all at once equal in what comprises the Lady Antebellum sound. Harmonies set them apart, but the fact that the two lead singers are among Nashville’s finest is not lost either. Plus, throw in the fact that the group has what could likely be "The Million Selling Performance You’ve Never Gotten Tired Of," and that says a lot about their track record – and perhaps, the song that tops this list!

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10. Lady Antebellum - "Downtown"

Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, and Natalie Hemby provided the lyrical content for the trio to dance to the top of the chart with in the winter months of 2013. On this track, Hillary shows as much sass as on any track in the Lady A arsenal, with lyrics asking her other to consider her more lover than the safe route that their relationship has progressed down.

9. Lady Antebellum - "Goodbye Town"

The band co-wrote the follow-up to "Downtown" with Josh Kear, and the result was no less than a vocal showcase for Charles Kelley. Perhaps the most wearied and expressive vocal of his career, this track deserved far more than the #11 peak the song registered on the Country Airplay chart.

8. Lady Antebellum - "Love Don’t Live Here"

The trio’s first single still stands as one of their best. Released to radio in the fall of 2007, this track was the first example of the show-stopping harmonies that Lady Antebellum would employ as a part of their sound, and still….one of their best songs ever.

7. Lady Antebellum - "Bartender"

Sometimes, you simply want to let your hair down and blow off some steam. This 2014 single was proof that the group could keep the sound light and easy, and just have fun. It was never going to win a Grammy for Best Country Song, but that wasn’t the point. Go to any Lady A show. Watch during this to see if the crowd is on their feet. That’s the point – every night!

6. Lady Antebellum - "You Look Good" 

Putting a current song on these type of lists can be tough to justify. After all, some times the new hasn’t had a chance to come off. But, the band shocked Country Radio with this buoyant dance number where the horns dominated in a way not heard since "The Man In Black." Since, the list is of the greatest Lady Antebellum songs – not compositions, we’ll approve inclusion here!

5. Lady Antebellum - "We Owned The Night"

Dallas Davidson suggested that the band come up with something featuring the mandolin, and that was where this song was first inspired. Lyrically, there was an ample hint of nostalgia on this hit from 2011 – and Kelley’s vocals kept the fire on each and every line and quiver.

4. Lady Antebellum - "I Run To You"

Was this song a declaration of love through the rough times in a relationship – or a piece of social commentary against hate and violence? The answer to both questions was a unified 'Yes,' which helped to make this one resonate with fans throughout all formats and countries. In most careers, this would be THE defining hit. In most careers.

3. Lady Antebellum - "American Honey"

Ok, had Lady Antebellum released "Mary Had A Little Lamb" after the song that tops this list – and we all know which one that is! - it might be top five. That’s perhaps a given. But, Hillary Scott provided perhaps her second-best vocal of their career on this song that paid tribute to her growing up years. A showcase for each member – on all levels.

2. Lady Antebellum - "Lookin’ For A Good Time"

It wasn’t even a top ten hit, but the second single from the band proved to be one that you weren’t going to forget anytime soon. Scott and Kelley playfully vie for the attention from the other in this fun and lively track that definitely set them apart from the pack.

1. Lady Antebellum - "Need You Now"

Yes, the placement of this 2009 hit at the top of this list of Lady Antebellum songs seems a little – anti-climatic? Sure, but that’s partly because this track – in spite of dominating country, pop, and AC airwaves here and abroad – still sounds breathtaking. Kelley is at his vulnerable best, knowing he doesn’t need to initiate the action that he is about to – and Hillary Scott makes this four-minute booty call sound absolutely dreamy. A classic then. A classic now.