Home  I CSO StoreContact 

CSO Radio - Reviews/Features - Indie Artist Spotlight - Interviews - Artist Sites - Links

Rascal Flatts - Me And My Gang
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Maybe I’m getting soppy. Maybe it’s an age thing. But if you had told me I’d become excited over a boy band singing heartaches over bruised love lost and leaving, well, I’d have said there was no way. Rascal Flatts has changed all that. Me And My Gang, their fourth album, is a polished affair of hook-laden and crafted tunes, which meld on harmony and soar in overall style and delivery. 

These guys – Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney–have nailed a fan-grabber. The proof shows up with the intense sales of both the album and their touring shows. And it’s not hard to hear why. Over a short public journey, one that really started in the early ‘90’s, these guys have drawn fans into their musical web. It’s a web comprising unforgettable balladry and harmonies stamping them as unique. And the fans agree –the album has the distinction of 722,000 copies in first week sales (sales are now over two million), and a three-week envied pole position on the Billboard chart. Me And My Gang, with the first single “What Hurts The Most”, has claimed interest after whetting fan interest with earlier hits. Tunes like “Praying For Daylight”, "This Everyday Love", the controversial “I Melt”, where in the video the slight nudity offended some, causing ripples with CMT, on to “Bless The Broken Road” and “Fast Cars & Freedom". Now with a proven catalogue of hit seeking singles, a fan base that could crowd a small city, and a proven popularity that isn’t drawing breath, the boys return.

Co-produced with guitarist and producer to the stars, Dann Huff, the boys deliver with an album of 13 tracks sure to please. Apart from the chart-flying “What Hurts The Most”, the album is serious without being strenuous. While the overall focus lies with ballads, some pace interrupts the passage. Tracks like “Backwards”, where the mystery of what happens when you play a country song in reverse comes answered, and the rocky “Me And My Gang”, where the lyrical sentiment of “we ride to live we live to ride” doesn’t need explanation.

But it’s in the ballads the Flatts hit their target. With Gary LeVox’s vocals, soothing and soaring as needed, cuts like the lead track, “Stand”, the power-blasted weeper “I Feel Bad”, and the thoughtful ponderings of “Words I Couldn’t Say” all showcase a band who has rightfully gathered a heap of top vocal group awards along the way.

The winning combination of a crafted tune (written by Neil Thrasher, Wendell Mobley and Michael Dulaney), expressive harmonies and moody instrumentation play out on “Ellsworth”. The song offers a stand still moment of listening. Again, maybe I’m getting soppy. Maybe it’s an age thing, but the tune touched me, deeply. With a light snare and a piano opening, the tune tells of bonded love, created long ago by a handsome boy in army green, now remembered by an aging woman, one who tinkers with cherished medals and old black and white photos. As she sits in her aged care hostel, she won’t remember tomorrow what she did today, but despite the Alzheimer’s, she travels back to another memory -- Ellsworth, Kansas, 1948. 

“It’s like her mind just quit/Oh, but bring up Grandpa/ It’s like someone flipped a switch/…” are part of the revealing lyrics painting a tender truth, sadly some us of us know too well.

With not a dud card in the pack, other standout tracks include “My Wish”, the funky “Yes I Do”, and the inspiring tale of trust heard on “He Ain’t The Leavin’ Kind”. 

And don’t worry about being soppy, or getting older; if you’re into vocal perfection and meaningful tunes, all produced with that as the final objective, sign up regardless and join the gang. I have.

Me And My Gang, an enhanced disc with a behind the scenes photo shoot, and a featurette on the making of “What Hurts The Most” video and other assorted extras is out now on Lyric Street Records.

 
Click on the CD cover to order yours!

1. Stand 
2. What Hurts The Most 
3. Backwards 
4. I Feel Bad 
5. My Wish 
6. Pieces 
7. Yes I Do
8. To Make Her Love Me 
9. Words I Couldn’t Say 
10. Me and My Gang 
11. Cool Thing 
12. Ellsworth 
13. He Ain’t the Leavin’ Kind

Related Links:
Official Website 

MySpace Site
  

Did you like this album? did you hate it? Submit a "Real People Review"
RPR Rules


Real People Reviews

 

 

Reviews/Features I Indie Artist Spotlight I Interviews I Artist Sites I Links I News I CSO StoreContact 
Copyright © 2000 - 2010 CountryStarsOnline.com - All Rights Reserved - Site Designed by Jim Weaver Productions