Flatts - Me And My Gang
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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
Click on the CD cover to order yours!
2. What Hurts The Most
4. I Feel Bad
5. My Wish
7. Yes I Do
To Make Her Love Me
9. Words I Couldn’t Say
10. Me and My Gang
11. Cool Thing
13. He Ain’t the Leavin’ Kind
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