But that's arguably what Lady Antebellum now are – since forming in 2006, pianist/guitarist Dave Haywood and co-lead singers Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott have released a platinum debut album, followed it up in double-platinum fashion, and collected no fewer than eight gongs at the CMA awards. Their stock in trade? Glossy country-pop with lyrics as easy to relate to as a Dear Deirdre photo casebook. In Lady A's world, love is "like an open highway", heroines are "free as a weed", and a perfect day involves taking a midday dip and having a sing-song round the campfire in the moonlight.
At times on Need You Now - actually their second long-player, but their first to earn a UK release - this fondness for the commonplace grates; Kelley and Scott spend so much time singing about "blue skies" you can't help wishing a cumulonimbus would move in overhead. However, thanks to the melodic instincts of the band and their Nashville pro co-writers, the lion's share of these songs are perfectly ingratiating. If nothing quite matches 'Need You Now' for sheer pop infectiousness, the likes of 'American Honey', 'Our Kind Of Love' and 'Perfect Day' don't miss by much.
In fact, Need You Now's only real dampener is the odd plodding ballad - Lady A are much more appealing coming off like a country Bon Jovi on 'Stars Tonight', a big, dumb arena anthem complete with "Hey! Hey!" hooks, than when they recall a country Snow Patrol on something like 'Hello World'. Oh, and that name? Well, according to dictionary.com it's an adjective meaning "the period before a war, especially the American Civil War", but the trio chose it just 'cause they liked the way it sounded. That tells you quite a bit about this good-natured, unpretentious band and their good-natured, unpretentious music.