If 2012’s terrific “Tornado” was the breakthrough Little Big Town richly deserved — thanks to the funny, breezy hit “Pontoon” — then the even stronger “Pain Killer’’ should send the country quartet — Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman, and Phillip Sweet — to greater heights.
The aptly named album is all killer, no filler. The group’s trademark four-part harmonies are front and center on 13 richly crafted tunes — ranging from whispered ballads to fiery rockers — which, like “Tornado,” were produced by the inventive Jay Joyce (Eric Church).
“Quit Breaking Up With Me” is a sassy ode to volatile relationships while current hit “Day Drinking,” is a catchy, whistle-kissed anthem about starting happy hour early.
The reggae-tinged title track takes a common metaphor — being intoxicated by love — and lifts it above the ordinary with simple production and snippets of a cappella goodness. The sultry, bluesy “Girl Crush,” co-written by Stoughton singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, is a high-water mark, as is “Save Your Sin,” a stomping kiss-off. (Out now)
ESSENTIAL “Girl Crush”