The Breaker (album)

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The Breaker
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 24, 2017 (2017-02-24)
StudioSt. Charles (Nashville, Tennessee)
GenreCountry pop
LabelCapitol Nashville
ProducerJay Joyce
Little Big Town chronology
The Breaker
Singles from The Breaker
  1. "Better Man"
    Released: October 20, 2016
  2. "Happy People"
    Released: April 3, 2017
  3. "When Someone Stops Loving You"
    Released: June 26, 2017

The Breaker is the eighth studio album by American country music group Little Big Town. It was released on February 24, 2017, through Capitol Nashville. Reviews for the album were positive. The Breaker debuted atop the Top Country Albums chart and number four on the Billboard 200. The album also charted in countries like New Zealand, Canada and Australia. It spawned three singles: "Better Man", "Happy People" and "When Someone Stops Loving You". After giving several performances in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium that started on the album's release date, the group embarked on a worldwide tour to promote the record.


During a press conference at the Ryman Auditorium in November 2016, Little Big Town announced the album's title.[1]

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift single-handedly wrote the album's lead single, "Better Man", about the ending of a past relationship with a significant other. Swift claimed that she thought of Little Big Town and their trademark harmony vocals and subsequently sent the song to the group.[2]


To help promote The Breaker, Little Big Town had a residency at the Ryman Auditorium, titled Little Big Town at the Mother Church, and began it the day of the album's release. The band originally announced six performances at the auditorium between February and September before announcing three additional shows with plans to announce more throughout the year. They also announced a six date UK tour.[3]

"Happy People" was released as the first promotional single on February 3, 2017. "We Went to the Beach" was released as the second promotional single on February 10, 2017. "When Someone Stops Loving You" was released as the third and final promotional single on February 17, 2017.

To promote the album, Little Big Town embarked on The Breakers Tour which began on September 28, 2017 in the UK and concluded on May 5, 2018 in Atlanta. Opening acts included Seth Ennis, Kacey Musgraves and Midland. The band will also headline the C2C: Country to Country festival as part of the tour, where they will be joined by Midland, Margo Price and Emmylou Harris.


"Better Man", the lead single from The Breaker, was released on October 20, 2016, and has sold 437,000 copies in the US as of February 2017.[4] It peaked at number 1 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts.[5] The song was written by Taylor Swift.

"Happy People" was released to country radio on April 3, 2017 as the second official single.[6] It reached a peak of number 46 on the Country Airplay chart, becoming their lowest-peaking single to date.

"When Someone Stops Loving You" was released to radio on June 26, 2017 as the third official single.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyA−[10]
Rolling Stone[12]

The Breaker received widespread critical acclaim.[1] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 78 based on 4 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[8]

AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album four out of five stars and states, "Little Big Town cherish the gentler moments, and this ease with sensitivity turns The Breaker into something of a quiet triumph: it's intended as a balm, and it succeeds."[9] Chuck Arnold of Entertainment Weekly gave the record an "A−" grade saying, "Although the rest of The Breaker may not be blessed with the T-Swizzle magic, there are some more strong contenders for your next breakup playlist."[10] Rolling Stone writer Jonathan Bernstein praised the album for putting the spotlight back on the group's "unmatched ability to transform subtle Nashville lyricism into major pop drama", concluding that, "[A]t the top of their game, Little Big Town are taking an unlikely path: respectable, mid-career album artist."[12]


Publication Rank List
The Boot 3 5 Best Country Albums of 2017 So Far[13]
TIME N/A 10 Best Albums of 2017 So Far[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

The Breaker debuted at number one on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and number four on the all-genre Billboard 200 with 51,000 album-equivalent units, of which 44,000 were pure album sales.[15] It marks the group's third number one album on the Top Country Albums chart.[15] The album sold 16,600 copies the second week.[16] As of June 2018 the album has sold 171,400 copies in the United States.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are produced by Jay Joyce.

No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Happy People"Karen Fairchild2:47
2."Night on Our Side"
  • Phillip Sweet
  • Jimi Westbrook
  • Joyce
  • Jeremy Spillman
  • Ryan Tyndell
Jimi Westbrook3:55
3."Lost in California"Fairchild4:47
5."Drivin' Around"
  • Kameron Alexander
  • David Embree
  • Audra Mae
  • Todd Spadafore
6."We Went to the Beach"Phillip Sweet3:07
7."Better Man"Taylor SwiftFairchild4:23
  • Sweet
  • Westbrook
  • Hemby
9."Don't Die Young, Don't Get Old"
  • Karen Fairchild
  • Kimberly Schlapman
  • Lindsey
  • McKenna
10."Beat Up Bible"Kimberly Schlapman3:35
11."When Someone Stops Loving You"
  • Lindsey
  • McGill
  • McKenna
12."The Breaker"
Total length:41:49


Adapted from The Breaker liner notes.[18]


Year Association Category Result
2017 CMA Awards[19] Album of the Year Nominated
2018 Grammy Awards[20] Best Country Album Nominated
ACM Awards[21] Album of the Year Nominated



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[32] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Whitaker, Sterling (January 18, 2017). "Little Big Town Reveal Cover Art, Track Listing for 'The Breaker' Read More: Little Big Town Reveal Cover Art, Tracks for 'The Breaker'". Taste of Country. Taste of Country Network.
  2. ^ Vulpo, Mike (November 1, 2016). "Who Did Taylor Swift Write "Better Man" About? We Investigate the Lyrics for Little Big Town's New Single". E! Online. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Little Big Town announces UK tour dates". 8 February 2017.
  4. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 13, 2017). "Top 30 Digital Country Singles Chart: February 13, 2016". Roughstock. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  5. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 20, 2017). "Little Big Town Celebrates #1 Today As "The Breaker" Launches Friday!". Roughstock. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  6. ^ Stefano, Angela (March 20, 2017). "Hear Little Big Town's New 'The Breaker' Single, 'Happy People'". The Boot. Townsquare Media. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  7. ^ "Single Releases : MusicRow". MusicRow. Archived from the original on June 14, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Reviews for The Breaker by Little Big Town". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Breaker - Little Big Town". AllMusic. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Arnold, Chuck (February 23, 2017). "Little Big Town's The Breaker: EW Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Ham, Robert (February 23, 2017). "Little Big Town: The Breaker Review". Paste. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Bernstein, Jonahtan (February 24, 2017). "Review: Little Big Town Explore Contemplative Country on 'The Breaker'". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  13. ^ Annie Zaleski (June 17, 2017). "5 Best Country Albums of 2017 So Far". The Boot. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  14. ^ Raisa Bruner (May 23, 2017). "10 Best Albums of 2017 So Far". TIME. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Asker, Jim (March 7, 2017). "Little Big Town earns their third No. 1 on Top Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  16. ^ Bjorke, Matt (March 13, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: March 13, 2017". Roughstock.
  17. ^ Bjorke, Matt (June 22, 2018). "Top 10 Country Albums Chart: June 20, 2018". Roughstock. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  18. ^ The Breaker (booklet). Little Big Town. Capitol Nashville. 2017. B002622302.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  19. ^ "Here Are All the Winners From the 2017 CMA Awards". Billboard. November 8, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  20. ^ "60th Annual Grammy Awards". Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  21. ^ Stefano, Angela (April 15, 2018). "2018 ACM Awards Winners List". The Boot. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  22. ^ " – Little Big Town – The Breaker". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  23. ^ "Little Big Town Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  24. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  25. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  26. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  27. ^ "Official Country Artists Albums Chart Top 20". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  28. ^ "Little Big Town Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  29. ^ "Little Big Town Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  30. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  31. ^ "Top Country Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  32. ^ "American album certifications – Little Big Town – The Breaker". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 3, 2020.