From left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum performing during the 2011 NFL Kickoff concert in Green Bay, Wisconsin last week.
From left, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum performing during the 2011 NFL Kickoff concert in Green Bay, Wisconsin last week.

Lady Antebellum: Own the Night



Own the Night
Capitol
**

The headlines conjured-up images of crystal chandeliers crashing to the floor, rows of luxury velvet seats set alight and tuxedo-wearing rock stars scrambling to protect teenage pop queens from the debris. News that something called "Lady Antebellum" had unexpectedly stormed the Grammys could almost have been the climax of a Godzilla-style disaster movie. Possibly about a 40-storey tall black widow spider - a recent escapee from Monster Island, with a genetically enhanced cranium and an unparalleled distaste for contemporary pop.

But, alas, it wasn't to be. "The US country music act Lady Antebellum ... won five gongs, including song and record of the year ..." continued the coverage. So not only was the terrifyingly named Lady Antebellum not a giant arthropod, it wasn't anything scary at all - not even a scary musical act.

But how had the big winner at this year's Grammys - scooping more awards than even Lady Gaga, Eminem or Arcade Fire - been a group that so many of us had never heard of?

The press notes for their third album, Own the Night, only confuse things further, claiming the band's last LP "has sold over five million copies across the globe". Upon further inspection, the band's 2010 release Need You Now, was indeed a multi-platinum seller, but - and here, finally, is the point - it had barely grazed the top 10 anywhere outside of North America.

In fact, the group's Grammy success inspired an article in The Guardian under the headline "Why can't Lady Antebellum find success in the UK?" - it could have asked the same of "Europe", "Asia", or even "the rest of the world". The answer is simply because - unlike Batman, bubblegum or the blues - the US has never succeed at exporting country music with anything like the success it has with so many other things.

"Lady A", as they like to call themselves, offer a sound that is for the most part less ghastly than much of what the country pop genre has to offer. First track We Owned the Night opens with delicate mandolin picking and old-timey organ. But the few seconds of Appalachian-tinged promise quickly disappear as the tune morphs into a kind of victory anthem, replete with cloying pop-rock production and the same male/female vocal harmonies delivering every line.

Later on, Friday Night represents the album's most upbeat moment, littered with electric guitar solos and lyrics as imaginative as "we can be together / let the good times roll forever" and "I wanna be your lemonade / in the shade / money in your pocket / cause you just got paid". Like bad love poetry, it's banal, but there's also a sincerity and good naturedness that makes it difficult to hate outright.

Much of the rest of the LP comprises ballads, presumably intended to make Alabama-dwelling men called Wilbur weep into their overalls. The Gaelic-inflected Cold As Stone is one of the more memorable entries, gently unwinding with singers Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott each delivering verses with uncharacteristic restraint. Meanwhile, lead single Just a Kiss is country pop at its most unadventurous; the story of an uneasy romance backed with drab mid-tempo guitars and vastly overwrought vocals on top.

Although clearly not a group blessed with much lyrical flair, Lady Antebellum show a versatility and skill at arrangement that many of their contemporaries don't possess. Make no mistake: this is country pop at its schmaltziest, but done with some skill. Enough to convince those living beyond the shores that spawned this music to give a damn?

Unlikely.

Tottenham's 10 biggest transfers (according to transfermarkt.com):

1). Moussa Sissokho - Newcastle United - £30 million (Dh143m): Flop

2). Roberto Soldado - Valencia - £25m: Flop

3). Erik Lamela - Roma - £25m: Jury still out

4). Son Heung-min - Bayer Leverkusen - £25m: Success

5). Darren Bent - Charlton Athletic - £21m: Flop

6). Vincent Janssen - AZ Alkmaar - £18m: Flop

7). David Bentley - Blackburn Rovers - £18m: Flop

8). Luka Modric - Dynamo Zagreb - £17m: Success

9). Paulinho - Corinthians - £16m: Flop

10). Mousa Dembele - Fulham - £16m: Success

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Qureos
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2021
Number of employees: 33
Sector: Software and technology
Funding: $3 million

Sam Smith

Where: du Arena, Abu Dhabi

When: Saturday November 24

Rating: 4/5

SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cylinder
Power: 101hp
Torque: 135Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Price: From Dh79,900
On sale: Now

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

MATCH INFO

FA Cup final

Chelsea 1
Hazard (22' pen)

Manchester United 0

Man of the match: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Bharatanatyam

A ancient classical dance from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Intricate footwork and expressions are used to denote spiritual stories and ideas.

RESULTS

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 2,200m
Winner: Arjan, Fabrice Veron (jockey), Eric Lemartinel (trainer).

5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 1,400m​​​​​​​
Winner: Jap Nazaa, Royston Ffrench, Irfan Ellahi.

6pm: Al Ruwais Group 3 (PA) Dh300,000 1,200m​​​​​​​
Winner: RB Lam Tara, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinal.

6.30pm: Shadwell Gold Cup Prestige Dh125,000 1,600m​​​​​​​
Winner: AF Sanad, Bernardo Pinheiro, Khalifa Al Neyadi.

7pm: Shadwell Farm Stallions Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,600m​​​​​​​
Winner: Jawal Al Reef, Patrick Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

7.30pm: Maiden (TB) Dh80,000 1,600m​​​​​​​
Winner: Dubai Canal, Harry Bentley, Satish Seemar.

RESULTS

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 1,600m
Winner: Omania, Saif Al Balushi (jockey), Ibrahim Al Hadhrami (trainer)
5.30pm: Conditions (PA) Dh85,000 1,600m
Winner: Brehaan, Richard Mullen, Ana Mendez
6pm: Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 1,600m
Winner: Craving, Connor Beasley, Simon Crisford
6.30pm: The President’s Cup Prep (PA) Dh100,000 2,200m
Winner: Rmmas, Tadhg O’Shea, Jean de Roualle
7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup (PA) Dh70,000 1,200m
Winner: Dahess D’Arabie, Connor Beasley, Helal Al Alawi
7.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 1,400m
Winner: Fertile De Croate, Sam Hitchcott, Ibrahim Aseel

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

MATCH INFO

Manchester City 3
Danilo (16'), Bernardo Silva (34'), Fernandinho (72')

Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Ulloa (20')

Sheer grandeur

The Owo building is 14 storeys high, seven of which are below ground, with the 30,000 square feet of amenities located subterranean, including a 16-seat private cinema, seven lounges, a gym, games room, treatment suites and bicycle storage.

A clear distinction between the residences and the Raffles hotel with the amenities operated separately.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: OneOrder
Started: March 2022
Founders: Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice
Based: Cairo
Number of staff: 82
Investment stage: Series A