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Artist Edition: Rascal Flatts

August 25, 2008

Rascal Flatts, probably the most popular band sense Alabama and Lonestar to hit the country scene, have earned their place in history as one of the genre’s most powerful pace-setters. What has made them so popular is their ability to incorporate not only a modern sound, but a classical tinge that actually went over quite well with a younger and more youthful crowd of a genre that has a tradition of earning its share of jokes and insults from the pre-teen and teenage population.

This trio made a quiet entry into country with small hits like “Prayin’ For Daylight” and “I’m Movin’ On”. It wasn’t until the band’s powerful and romantic hit “Bless The Broken Road” hit #1 that the band became a household name in not only country music, but in pop music as well. Despite this, country music’s band of multicultured fans have shared both support and disposition toward the bands movement in the genre.

Many have criticized the band for their push towards a more pop/country based sound. In addition lead singer Gary has been spoken out against for his nasally sound and his pushing much of his range. Guitarist Jo Don Rooney has also received criticism for both his rock-and-roll guitar feel and in some rare instance his songwriting. Even bassist Jay DeMarcus has been spoken against from his seemingly insignificant position in the band. Despite this Rascal Flatts have earned their place as the “New Alabama” or “Lonestars Successors”. So, as these things will go, I wish to hear from you guys what you think the goods and bads are with this band. The following explore some ups and downs to this powerful country music group.

SOME UPS

Rascal Flatts have not only made waves by producing a new and creative sound in an increasingly competitive industry, they have been able to secure a place in the hearts of the younger crowd and opened the door for country music to touch a new age of person and to help make a lasting effect on the music scene. The bands pop/country sound was able to ring popularity back to bands like Alabama and the Eagles as young listeners and older listeners began to wonder where this new trio got their inspiration. This band had a huge hand in ensuring the survival and the spread of country music. What also works to their credit is the bands winning streak and longevity in awards shows and radio airplay. Every generation seems to have its big group spanning from Alabama to Lonestar and even as far back as The Highwaymen and earlier. Rascal Flatts is that band for this generation. Many have noticed the decline in group success these days, so to see a group that is so rebellious perform so well it helps to give hope to perspective bands who are hoping to hit the big stage in the end.

SOME DOWNS

Rascal Flatts’ dominance of the country music scene is both a blessing and a curse. Few bands have made it huge lately and it is true that the boys have proven their is still hope for country music bands, but other bands like Little Big Town have been overshadowed by the success of this powerful award-winning band. Their consistant connection with a new crowd has made them a favorite in awards shows and special programs causing them to win awards that seem to be almost fixed in order to prevent them from losing any steam. In addition to this fact the band have shifted a little too far into a pop sound and have also earned enough success to have their label throwing out mediocre single and even less enjoyable albums. Their recent album, “Still Feels Good”, is their worst work to date consisting of mostly slow and sad songs and a few overplayed fast songs that share absolutely nothing new for them. Their past few single have been slow and depressive in relation to what they could have offered and their new single, “Bob That Head”, is a sentiment to the consistent criticism of the band for stretching the sound of country music way to far for its own good.

 

So what do you guys think of country’s most successful band of the new century?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Gail permalink
    August 25, 2008 4:29 pm

    I personally have never liked this band! Nothing about them does it for me. I don’t see how anyone listens to a whole CD at one time of Gary Levox’s singing with that (as you mentioned) nasally voice…ouch! The times I’ve seen them sing live…to put it bluntly..they can’t! JMO! I’ve tried to think of some ups, but can’t!

  2. bobby permalink
    August 25, 2008 7:37 pm

    Personally, I am not a fan of their music. I think that they have lowered the standard for quality music and brought in fans that don’t like actual country music. To add in something positive, I like the songs “Moving On” a “What Hurts the Most” as well as a couple others.

  3. August 25, 2008 7:54 pm

    I have only ever liked two songs from them (“My Worst Fear” and “Winner At A Losing Game”) but back when they were still new I thought they had some potential to be something important. Well they have achieved that but not in the way I was thinking. I thought they would become musically important but they peaked in my opinion with their third album (“Feels Like Today”) and it’s been downhill ever since. They’re still an important part of the genre because they help bring in new listeners (whether or not these new fans expand into other artists is debatable). It’s sad to hear the top band in country sing a song like their current single, especially when there’s so much good material to record out there. While I would never wish bad things on them, I do hope that another band rises up and takes their place at the top.

  4. Leeann Ward permalink
    August 25, 2008 9:29 pm

    Jordan, you like “Winner At A loosing Game” too? I thought I was the only non-Rascal Flatts fan who liked that song.

    You know what I think of RF if you read Country Universe. So, I don’t need to elaborate much here. I do wonder, however, if they’ve really overshadowed other groups by winning awards, since they always complain about how the industry doesn’t show them respect by never giving them awards.

    Often times, I don’t mind Gary’s voice on record; it’s the live performances that get to me. I didn’t have anything against them when they first came out; I even bought their first album. They’ve drastically changed since then though.

  5. Kent permalink
    August 26, 2008 12:12 am

    I never really cared about them until “What Hurts the Most” came out. I loved it, and I’ve loved every single since, with the exception of, ironically, “Winner at a Losing Game”. I even bought their “Me and My Gang” album.

  6. August 26, 2008 4:08 am

    Just for the record, the most successful band to hit country music since Alabama and Lonstar is not Rascal Flatts. It’s the Dixie Chicks.

  7. Leeann Ward permalink
    August 26, 2008 12:08 pm

    Yeah, I noticed on our site that a lot of RF fans didn’t like that song either. I don’t know why I like it; I even know it’s lame, but I still like it.

  8. August 26, 2008 7:26 pm

    Used to be a big fan until this cd was released. This is trash. They need to decide if they want to be country or pop. I’ve also seen them live several times and Gary can’t sing live, which leads me to believe that there’s some studio magic going on here. Too bad.

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