Little Big Town – ‘Your Side of The Bed’ – Review


Little Big Town have had a moderately successful year
(deliberate understatement). After the release of ‘Tornado’ the album last
October, they’ve gone from strength to strength, selling more than ever before
and picking up award after award. Nobody can deny it; right now, Little Big
Town are hot stuff, and big money for that matter. There are multiple tracks on
‘Tornado’ worthy of being a single, including ‘Sober’, ‘Leavin’ In Your Eyes’,
‘Front Porch Thing’ and ‘Can’t Go Back’, which is why I was a little surprised
when they chose ‘Your Side of The Bed’. Clearly they wanted to release a
ballad, to truly showcase the power of their individual vocals and 4-part
harmonies more clearly, and as they’ve had two upbeat singles from the album,
this makes logical sense. However, for me, although it’s a beautiful track, I’m
not sure if it’s dynamic enough to be a single, especially off the back of
songs like ‘Pontoon’ and ‘Tornado’.

Overall this song is very atmospheric, with fairly stripped
back verses (particularly the first), and fuller harmony-led choruses. What
sets this apart from some of their previous material however, is having Karen
and Jimi take alternate lead vocals on top of the harmonies (though with more
of a focus on Karen). Aside from the choruses, this loses some of Little Big
Town’s unique stamp on the song, as while both Karen and Jimi’s vocals are
outstanding, it may be overshadowed by other similar songs with similar

Having said that, there’s no denying its power. Telling the
story of two sides of a relationship that is failing, and feeling a
metaphorical distance between them. It’s a belter, and all four members of the
group really go for it, the first two lines of the chorus “Tell me how? How’d
you get so far away? All we have left are the memories of the love we made”
sounding particularly desperate and stricken. The bridge and final chorus
really build the song from its simple acoustic guitar and steel guitar origins,
with some drums and electric guitar, but they’re fairly low in the mix, and the
emphasis is actually on Little Big Town’s 4-part harmonies. I feel like with a
song as emotional and dramatic as this, they could have built it up far more
instrument-wise, making for a much bigger sound. Perhaps that’s not the style
they’re going for, but I felt it would have more impact and be more effective
with more active musicianship.

The place where this song really comes alive is live –
unfortunately the ACMs didn’t really show how effective it can truly be. I was
lucky to see them at the Country to Country Festival in London, and the
chemistry between Karen and Jimi was far stronger, with them facing each other,
close and staring into each other’s eyes for far more of the performance than
they did at the ACMs. It’s for this reason therefore that I believe it should
be a live treat rather than a single – I’m just not sure it’ll pack as much of
a punch on country radio and on the charts as their previous releases, and
they’re too talented to deserve a dip in their success.

This is not to say that the song is bad by any means, and I
wish them the best of luck. I hope that I’m proved wrong at any rate.

Posted by Vickye (Guest Writer).
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