Little Big Town: Bad Review Builds Character

Nashville Newspaper Described 2002 Music as "Cliched, Sanitized"

Well, I’m glad someone can laugh about this. Because I don’t know that I could get over such harsh criticism,

But there they were, all the member of Little Big Town on CBS Sunday Morning on Sunday (June 21), fondly recalling their first terrible review in The Tennessean, Nashville’s daily newspaper.

“Something about eating away the enamel of your brain,” the band’s Jimi Westbrook told CBS. “And I didn’t even know your brain had enamel!”

After that review and more troubles with the band, Westbrook actually started parking cars at a Nashville restaurant.

To look at their success (and much thicker skin) now, though, you’d never know they had such a rough start.

The Tennessean’s Brad Schmitt was bold enough to dig up and rerun that review of the band’s 2002 album. And Westbrook was right. It does say that the music is “a collection of fluffy, sugar-coated songs that’s sure to eat away the enamel of your brain if you have too much.”

It also says — and to me this would’ve hurt the most — “the music as a whole is cliched, sanitized, virtually without risk or soul. It’s like bad Christian pop for third-graders.”

I wonder if the band thought at the time — when they’d released that self-titled debut album and two singles “Don’t Waste My Time” and “Everything Changes” — that they’d be laughing about this someday. Because they are.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.
@alisonbonaguro