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With '747,' Lady Antebellum restores its original polish

With '747,' Lady Antebellum restores its original polish
The cover image for Lady Antebellum's '747.' The group worked with hit-maker producer Nathan Chapman. (AP)

Once a reliable source of lustrous country-soul ballads such as "Need You Now" and "Just a Kiss," Lady Antebellum roughed up its sound a bit for last year's up-tempo "Golden," which paid off neither artistically nor commercially. So you can understand the trio's recruitment here of producer Nathan Chapman, best known for his hit-making work with Taylor Swift.

But if Chapman restores some of Lady Antebellum's polish, he still keeps the group moving too fast with zippy pop-country arrangements that rarely allow Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott to harmonize as sumptuously as they're able. And at a moment when every second song on country radio is about throwing back a cold one, another elegant weeper like "Need You Now" might've gone further than the ho-hum "Bartender" to set Lady Antebellum apart from the pack.

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Lady Antebellum

"747"

(Capitol Nashville)

1.5 stars (out of four)

Twitter: @mikaelwood

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