Coming off the relatively weak “Freestyle,” which peaked at only #16 on Billboard Country Airplay, Lady Antebellum ups the ante with 747’s third single, country-rocker “Long Stretch of Love”. Reminiscent of the attitude and musicality of their self-titled debut album, the song is one of their most interesting in a while.
Throughout the song, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott trade barbs at one another as their characters, lovers who are accusing each other of being hot and cold, hit and miss, fire and ice. Despite the ups and downs of what sounds like a pretty tumultuous relationship, both are completely committed to making it last for a long time.
Over and over and over we play this game
Win or lose, we’ll never change
Written by the Lady A trio along with Josh Kear (co-writer of Blake Shelton’s latest #1, “Neon Light”), “Long Stretch of Love” is a quintessential ‘blast this song with the windows down’ summer anthem. I wish the lyrics had more of a punch and that Lady A allowed more of their personality, both lyrically and vocally, to shine through, but overall this rocker is fun to listen to and adds a much-needed break from sappy ballads to Lady A’s concert set list. As much as I enjoy songs like “Goodbye Town” and “Dancing Away with My Heart,” it’s nice to see Lady A let loose now and then with a less serious, fun song. (And the fact that I still immediately think “sappy mid-tempo ballad” when I think of Lady A, despite this being their third up-tempo in a row, indicates they still need big up-tempo hits to change public perception of what they’re capable of.)
The melody is rather basic, but it’s singable and easy to remember, which is exactly the goal of most summer songs. Rather than being a typical summer party song, this one has a bit more substance. This is the perfect time of year to release a tune like this, but it’s still different enough not to get lost in the swarm of party songs sure to hit the airwaves for the next five months.
It’s not perfect and I still think Lady A can do better — I’m still waiting for them to recapture the magic of their first album — but I’d give this a solid 3.5/5.