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Rascal Flatts - Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

THE Rascal Flatts are a band that’s huge in America, but who have yet to make it over to the UK. That’s about to change… Debut UK release Rascal Flatts (imaginative, or what!) aims to repeat the success of their American releases, where they became the top-selling act in 2006 and continue to win awards by the bucketload.

Sadly, the album has very little to recommend it. Rooted in country values, the album is an all-male equivalent to the type of music that Shania Twain continues to do so well with. It also veers from upbeat power ballads to drippy, sugar-coated yearnings about love that threaten to drain the very life out of the listener.

Lead singer Gary Levox maintains that “lyrically, this is the strongest album we’ve ever done” [they have five to their name] but there’s nothing that really stands out as a defining moment.

Opener Take Me There is, for instance, a drippy love song that begins with the lovelorn line “there’s a place in your heart that no one’s ever been – take me there….” before adding: “Tell me about your mama, your daddy, your hometown, I want to see it all, don’t leave anything out”. It’s actually quite excruciating.

Former single What Hurts The Most adds some violin and ramps up the moodiness (mentioning rain on rooftops and not being afraid to cry) but it’s still a fairly bland offering that wears its country roots a little too lazily on its sleeve.

Given the popularity of country music in America – where the likes of Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and co thrive – it’s hardly a surprise to find that Rascal Flatts have amassed the following they have. But it’s a very American sound and struggles to crossover a lot of the time, particularly as it rarely takes many risks.

Almost every track on this album follows the same formula. Here is yet another ode to love that’s chock full of “pass the sick bucket” lyrics, as is Help Me Remember, Bless The Broken Road and Winner At A Losing Game, which at least makes a stab for Eagles territory (only to be undermined by another set of appalling lyrics).

Life Is A Highway (from Pixar’s Cars soundtrack) and Secret Smile do at least attempt to break the tedium by rocking things up a little but even then there’s a certain “been there, heard it before” quality to them.

For a band with such a huge reputation States-side (they have, apparently, become one of the most consistently awarded music acts in history), it’s a colossal disappointment to report that the Rascal Flatts are something of a bland act with very little for this reviewer to recommend.

Download picks: (If you had to) Secret Smile, Life Is A Highway

Track listing:

  1. Take Me There [album version]
  2. What Hurts The Most [hot mix]
  3. Here [album version]
  4. Life Is A Highway
  5. Help Me Remember [album version]
  6. Still Feels Good [album version]
  7. Bless The Broken Road
  8. Winner At A Losing Game [album version]
  9. Every Day [album version]
  10. No Reins [album version]
  11. She Goes All The Way [album version]
  12. Secret Smile [album version]
  13. Better Now [album version]
  14. It’s Not Supposed To Go Like That [album version]

  1. When you listen to Rascal Flatts you can feel an overwelming sense in the bottom of your heart. This is what I'm feeling whenevr I listen to their music. Due to this sensitivity of these talented artists; music they succeed to make a way to my heart and to most of those people who love them. their popularity is quitely noticeable in their concerts. It's hardly you can find a seat. Tickets sold out so early. But for me whenever I decide to attend one of their concerts I reserve my ticket in advance after making comparison of tickets; prices and choose the best offered price among ticket brokers. Long live Rascal Flatts!!!!!

    John Young    Feb 19    #