Single Review: Little Big Town - "Tornado"
By: Bobby Peacock
Could Little Big Town finally be turning things around? Between scoring their first-ever #1 with "Pontoon" and the fast climb so far for "Tornado," I would say yes. And it's about time.
Done wrong by her man, the narrator throws out convincing threats with storm similies and metaphors. "You're gonna see me coming by the selfish things you did / I'm gonna leave you guessing how this funnel is gonna hit," sings Karen Fairchild, always the go-to lady when LBT wants a little sass. I feel that the song spends a little too much time on said metaphors instead of fleshing out the story a little more, but this is a minor quibble at best.
"Tornado" is yet another testament to why Jay Joyce is currently my favorite producer in Nashville. Along with the strong, funky rhythm of the drum loop, he adds an ingredient I don't think I've ever heard on country radio before: a distorted bass line. Other little tweaks, such as echoed laughter and whistles, color out the theme even more. Unlike "Blown Away," which is both thematically and sonically set in the center of the storm. "Tornado" is more indicative of one just beginning to form — the production tricks truly giving the feel of darkening skies and increased winds just before a storm hits, matching perfectly to the lyrical threats.
And perhaps that's a metaphor for Little Big Town's career. After spending an undeservedly long time accomplishing little more than the occasional gust of wind or thunderclap, it seems that the winds are indeed picking up for one of country music's most underrated vocal groups. Let's just hope their peak is longer than that of an actual tornado.