On April 15, 2008, Lady Antelbellum released their eponymous debut album. The record introduced the country trio of Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott to the world and laid the groundwork for their spot as a fixture in country music; it also covers the range and talent of the superstar group.
Prior to the release of Lady Antebellum, Kelley and Scott, who both come from musical families (Kelley's brother Josh is a singer-songwriter, and Scott's mother is country singer Linda Davis), met on the social media site MySpace. They brought Kelley's childhood friend Haywood into the mix to create a sound that would take the country music world by storm.
Ten of the 11 songs on Lady Antebellum were written or co-written by at least one of the band's members, a tribute to their authenticity and talent. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, the first debut album by a country group to achieve that feat; it was also certified multi-platinum and nominated for Album of the Year at the ACM Awards, and produced three Top 20 singles.
Below, The Boot ranks the 11 tracks on Lady Antebellum.
Written by Kelley and Haywood along with Jason "Slim" Gambill and Victoria Shaw (who also co-produced the album), this catchy anthem about playing hard to get set the tone for many of Lady A's biggest hits, both lyrically and musically.
"Slow down sister 'cause I just can't love ya / But I just can't get you off my mind / I ain't your fool, I'm not falling / I'm not falling in love with you," Lady Antebellum sing. "I play by my rules / And believe me / You don't want me too close to you."
"Love's Lookin' Good on You"
The only track on the album that wasn't written by any of Lady Antebellum's three members, this song was penned by Shaw, Jason Deere and Matt Lopez. Still, it captures Lady A's swagger perfectly with confident lyrics: "Oh baby, baby / Isn't it funny / How we don't need any money / Just a little love to look like a million bucks."
"Home Is Where the Heart Is"
Written by the trio along with Shaw, this ballad is delivered with the emotional power that is Scott's vocal trademark.
"Mama said home is where the heart is / When I left that town / I made it all the way to West Virginia / And that's where my heart found / Exactly where I'm supposed to be," Lady Antebellum sing. "It didn't take much time / It's just south of the Mason Dixon Line."
Nobody does a breakup song quite as well as Lady A. Featuring Scott's killer vocals and capturing the group's don't-give-a-darn attitude, this song makes for a great moving-on tune.
"That girl is long gone / Boy, you missed the boat, it just sailed away / Long gone," the trio sings. "She's not drowning in her yesterdays / Betcha never thought I'd be that strong / Well, this girl is long gone."
"Can't Take My Eyes Off You"
This sweet and slow love song was the first of many to come for Lady Antebellum, who have gone on to write and play some of the most romantic tunes in the country music repertoire. On the track, they sing, "I love when you tell me that I'm pretty / When I just wake up / And I love how you tease me when I'm moody / But it's never too much / I'm falling fast, but the truth is, I'm not scared at all / You climbed my walls."
The first song that the band wrote together, this tune was the beginning of some powerhouse writing and earned Lady Antebellum a devoted fan base with its emotional lyrics and melodies. Key lyrics include, "I should have said all the things / That I kept inside of me, and maybe / I could have made you believe / That what we had was all we'd ever need."
This slowed-down, introspective tune gave audiences a glimpse into Lady A's softer side. The sentimental lyrics -- "What about the plans that you left behind? / The little white house by the railway line / The one we picked out / We even put the payment down / What about the promise that you made? / To stay with me 'til your dying day / Said you'd never go away / Are they just things that people say?" -- and emotional harmonies would become a trademark of the band.
"Looking for a Good Time"
This call-and-answer party anthem was the second single released off of Lady Antebellum. It established Lady A's rockin' side and paved the way for more rowdy musical flirtation in future songs.
"How 'bout baby / We make a promise / To not promise anything more than one night?" the trio sings. "Complicated situations / Only get worse in the morning light / Hey, I'm just lookin' for a good time."
"Lookin' for a Good Time" peaked just outside the Top 10 (No. 11) on the country charts.
It may not have been a single, but "One Day You Will" is one of country music's best songs about making a comeback. Its relatable address not only recovery from a breakup, but also the struggle of depression. Lady A take the bull by the horns and sing hope to their fans at the bleakest moments: "You'll find love, you'll find peace / And the you you're meant to be / I know right now that's not the way you feel / But one day you will."
The first single off Lady Antebellum, this song peaked at No. 3 on the charts and earned Lady A a Grammys nomination for Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals. It also introduced the world to the rich harmonies that the trio is known for.
"I've been doin' fine without you / Forgettin' all the love we once knew," Lady Antebellum sing. "And girl, I ain't the one that slammed that door / But now you say you've changed your thinkin' / But I ain't got a heart for breakin' / So go and pick your bags up off my floor / 'Cause love don't live here anymore."
The third and final single from Lady A's debut album, "I Run to You" was arguably their breakthrough hit. The song earned the trio a Grammys trophy for Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals and was also nominated for Best Country Song at the all-genre awards show.
"This world keeps spinning faster / Into a new disaster, so I run to you / I run to you, baby," goes the chorus of this song. "And when it all starts coming undone / Baby, you're the only one I run to / I run to you."