Back to my comfort zone yet again, it is a bit diffrent from my usual music reviews because it is not a rock/pop band that I am reviewing. I hope you enjoy.
Yes, the self proclaimed 'rock chick' likes country music, come on, my Username was taken from the band Dixie Chicks who are a country band, however it is Rascal Flatts who really make my mates noses turn up when I say I like them, until they hear their music. Some of you may have hear their songs before but have never actually heard Gary LeVox sing them, a lot of their songs have been covered, but never better than the original ones of course.
Who are Rascal Flatts?
Formed in Columbus, Ohio, Rascal Flatts are known as a Contemporary Country Rock Band, the band is comprised of three members, Gary LeVox on lead vocals, Jay DeMarcus on bass, guitar and keyboard and then Joe Don Rooney on lead guitar.
In the space of 9 years they have released 5 studio albums, all on the record company called Lyric Street Records. Their first two albums Rascal Flatts and Melt went 2x Multi Platinum and 3x Multi-Platinum. Their next two albums have gone 5x Multi Platinum and their most recent album went 2x Multi Platinum.
There new album is scheduled to be released in a few days, I'll probably wait till my mates buys this CD and then borrow it however.
The Greatest Hits, Volume 1
I do not own this CD, I borrowed it from a friend this morning when I was talking about one of my favourite songs from this band called What Hurts The Most, I have been listening to an American Idol version of the song and have just re-fallen in love. He leant me this album, however has misplaced the Disk 2. Anyhow, you still get my review of the 13 tracks on Disk 1 so I hope you enjoy.
Track 1: Praying For Daylight
This track is the first single that Rascal Flatts ever released, I myself have never heard of it before and I have to say I probably will not again. The things with Rascal Flatts that I have come to love is the fact they incorporate their main style of country into their music however they don't go too Country, which would turn me off this band straight away. In my opinion this song is just a bit too country.
Gary LeVox's voice is very strong in the whole song however this song really just doesn't have much about it that makes you go wow, this bad are brilliant. Other than LeVox's voice, the beat is annoying and the song is not catchy and is the sort of song that you listen to once and then never listen to again.
I can see why I have not heard of this song before, it is not catchy it is not good lyrically and LeVox's voice has been so much more better, the country beat to it really does get on my nerves as well, and this puts me straight of songs if they become too country. I am a rock gal remember, I can only take too much country.
Rating: 3/10 (Not a good song, this was their first ever single released however)
Lyrics: "Prayin' for daylight, waiting for that morning sun, So I can act like my whole life ain't going wrong, Baby come back to me, I swear I'll make it right, Don't make me spend another lonely night, Prayin' for daylight"
Track 2: I'm moving on
Before I even listen to this song again, I can tell you I won't even be able to begin to tell you how much I love this song. It is probably THE best song by the band and I can listen to it over and over again. This was the last song released on their first ever album and is absolutely beautiful.
The song starts with a lovely piano piece and then violins begin to join in and then LeVox's voice, what makes this song brilliant for me, is not just LeVox's voice but it is the amazing lyrics. The story behind the lyrics is a guy who is telling the story of his trouble past and how he's finding peace with himself now he's moving on.
This song is slow and ballady and is in no way too country, unlike the previous song, it has the incorporated style of country within it, and however it really is just beautiful. LeVox's voice adds so much emotion to the song and every time I listen to it I just melt.
It is the lyrics that make this song stand out, "I've dealt with my ghost and faced all my demons, finally content, with a past I regret, I've found you've found strength in your moments of weakness", the lyrics through the whole song are just inspirational and beautiful at the same time. Probably THE best song by this band, one to check out.
Rating: 10/10 (A beautiful track, with the most inspirational and amazing lyrics ever)
Lyrics: "I've lived in this place, and I know all the faces, each one is different but there always the same, they mean me no harm, but it's time that I face it, they'll never allow me to change, but I never dreamed home would end up where I don't belong, I'm moving on"
Track 3: These Days
This track is the first number one for the band; I've never heard this track before, it's another love song and it does have the country feel to it, however unlike the first track it doesn't become too much and the song is very contemporary and it is a love song, which usually make me wanna puke, but this one is very nice.
I don't think this is a Number 1 single though, I have heard the band sing a lot better, I think the song is too cheesy for my liking, and I think that many other songs that they have produced are worthy of the Number One slot.
This is a great song though, I'm not really a fan of the lyrics, I don't think any other lyrics could come close to the amazing ones that you get in I'm Moving On, the song is very catchy and pleasant to listen to, but the band has produced so many more brilliant tracks, this one might just be a bit too cheesy for my liking.
Rating: 7/10 (A good song, but a bit too cheesy and not as good as other tracks by the band)
Lyrics: "Yeah, life throws you curves, But you learned to swerve, Me I swung and I missed, And the next thing ya know, Im reminiscin dreaming old dreams, Wishing on wishes, Like you would be back again"
Track 4: I Melt
This is a good song, it's a lot slower than some of their other songs however the verses are a bit too country for my liking, I'm not really a fan of LeVox's voice during the verses in this track. The harmonies that Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus provide adds a lot of brilliance to the song however I have to say I won't be putting this song onto my IPod.
I was just looking on Wikipedia (I know, naughty) and apparently this track, well the video to this track caused a lot of controversy because it was one of the first videos ever to include nakedness, I'm sure that was just one old spinster moaning about that, because the hot guy that's naked in the video, I'm really not complaining. There's also a half naked woman for the men as well.
All in all it's a good song, but doesn't have anything special about it. It is the title song from their second album however did not become number one like These Days did. It's good but nothing special.
Rating: 6/10 (A good song but nothing special)
Lyrics: "When you light those candles , Up there on that mantle, setting the mood, Well, I just lie there staring, Silently preparing to love on you, Well, I can feel the heat from across the room, Ain't it wild what a little flame can make you wanna do"
Track 5: Mayberry
We get the country again with this song, this naturally puts me off the song because it is quite strong country within it, however LeVox's voice makes up for it because his voice is so damn powerful within this song, especially during the bridge. The chorus really put me off however though, it is too country, including the guitar and the annoying tune, it's such a shame because the rest of the song is good but the chorus is quite painful to listen to.
As there's not really much else to say about this song, I'll talk about LeVox's voice, this is probably the best vocal from him throughout the whole album so far, it's such a shame the chorus is really annoying, because I'll adore this song, he really has a very unique voice and he is able to show off his vocal range and uniqueness within this track. Amazing vocals however a really annoying song which is such a shame.
Rating: 4/10 (The verses are brilliant however the chorus is painful to listen to, the best vocals from LeVox so far on the album though)
Lyrics: "Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster, than it did in the old days, so naturally we have more natural disasters, from the strain of a fast pace"
Track 6: Feels Like Today
This track is one I have never heard of before as well, I have to say that I can tell why. The song is slow and it's not really country music, however it just doesn't seem to flow. It really should be beautiful however the song seems to be quite bitty and just doesn't flow as well as I would have liked.
It is a good song, I can't take that away from it, LeVox's vocals are brilliant and the harmonies the other two members provide are lovely, however I just find the song just doesn't flow and it's not the sort of song that I'll find myself listening to over and over again. I think this is the sort of song that a handful of people adore, whereas the rest of them don't, it is good, but I really can't seem to put my finger on why I don't think the song flows.
Rating: 5/10 (A good song, but it just seems to be badly produced)
Lyrics: "woke up this morning, With this feeling inside me that I can't explain, Like a weight that I've carried, Been carried away, away, But I know something is coming, I don't know what it is, But I know it's amazing, you save me, My time is coming, And I'll find my way out of this longest drought"
Track 7: Bless The Broken Road
I have just found out that Rascal Flatts are not the first band to cover this song, it's been going about for years and the first time that I ever heard it was on what I think was the fourth series of American Idol when they did a duet with Carrie Underwood, the only ever winner of American Idol who is a Country singer.
This song is just lovely, I can listen to it over and over again, it was the song that first made me notice Rascal Flatts back all those years ago, even though Rascal Flatts are not the first artist to cover this song they are the highest charting, the song went to Number one and it also won a Grammy Award in 2005.
The song is pretty simple, it's mainly just a piano and LeVox's voice, it's a beautiful melody and I have heard countless covers of this song, but none have been as good as LeVox does it. For me it is the lyrics that make this song stand out, they really are beautiful and you can see why the Grammy for lyrics was won by this song, the lyrics are catchy and you will find yourself singing them.
I do really like this song, most of all it is very catchy and it sticks in your head, so if you don't like music that does this then stay away from Bless the Broken Road because it is the sort of song that sticks in your mind and you will find yourself singing it along the road.
Rating: 10/10 (A fantastic track, it was the song that made me notice Rascal Flatts)
Lyrics: "I set on a narrow way, many years ago, hoping I would find true love, along the broken road, but I got lost a time or too, wipe my brow, kept pushing through, I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you"
Track 8: Fast Cars And Freedom
This seems to be the only one so far that has had any Rascal Flatts lyrical input, Gary LeVox co-wrote the lyrics on this song, I'm not usually a fan of bands that don't write their own music however I think Rascal Flatts are so original and brilliant that I let it slide.
This is not what I call a good song, the beat is too bland and his vocals are not as powerful as I would have liked and the lyrics are not really what I would call amazing as well, I think this song is probably one of the weakest on the album, it's that is painful to listen to or anything like that, it's just pretty boring compared to other songs on the album.
Rating: 4/10 (Nothing brilliant about it, just a plain song with okay vocals)
Lyrics: "Starin' at you takin' off your makeup, Wondering why you even put it on, I know you think you do but baby you don't need it, Wish that you could see what I see it when it's gone, I see a dust trail following an old red Nova, Baby blue eyes, your head on my shoulder"
Track 9: Skin (Sarabeth)
When I was searching of the video of Moving On one day on YouTube I came across this track, I think that is really is beautiful however I'm not usually a fan of songs which read like a book, which this one does. The song follows Sarabeth is scared to death because she is told that she has cancer.
The song is good and LeVox's vocals are good however I do find the lyrics to the song laughable, I don't mean finding out when you're a young a girl finding out you have cancer, but in the video he says things like Sarabeth is Scared To Death and closes her eyes and then the girl in the video closes her eyes.
It really does get quite annoying after a while, I really think this is a weird song, the lyrics do read more like a book than a poem which most lyrics read and I think that they could have been a lot more subtle with the lyrics.
Probably one of the worst songs on the whole album, because of the laughable and unsubtle lyrics which literally tell you everything that is going on in the video.
Rating: 3/10 (Stupid lyrics and it's not a very good song)
Lyrics: "Sarabeth is scared to death, To hear what the doctor will say, She hasn't been well, Since the day that she fell, And the bruise, it just won't go away, So she sits and she waits with her mother and dad, Flips through an old magazine, Till the nurse with a smile, Stands at the door, And says will you please come with me"
Track 10: What Hurts The Most
Probably one of my favourite songs from the band, this song is the reason that I asked to borrow the CD from my mate, I had heard Danny from American Idol singing it the other night and realised how much I loved this song, and I wondered if the rest of the songs were just as good.
This song is just pure brilliance, the production of the song is amazing and it really touches a piece of you. The lyrics are amazing, especially if you listen to them closely, when Danny sung it on American Idol the lyrics were very sincere to him because it's a well known fact that two weeks before his audition he lost his wife, and the lyrics are either talking about someone that died or someone who walked away. I think this song is just beautiful, and I can listen to it over and over again.
Some of you may recognise the lyrics to this song, the girl that can't write or get someone to write lyrics for her, aka Cascada did a version of this song. I did like the version however you can't beat Rascal Flatts version.
Rating: 10/10 (A beautiful song, I never tire of it)
Lyrics: "It's hard to deal with the pain of losing you everywhere I go, but I'm doing it, it's hard to force that smile when I see our old friends and I'm alone, still harder, getting up, getting dressed, living with this regret"
Track 11: My Wish
Another track I haven't heard before, it is another ballad from the band, and it is a very beautiful song, I will not be putting it onto my IPod, it's not really one of those songs, it's not really got anything about it that makes you listen to over and over again.
LeVox's vocals are brilliant, the song I think in the verses is a bit too quick and it doesn't work as well as I would have liked with LeVox's vocals however it is a good song and it is pleasant to listen to. I think that there are much better songs on the album, however this is a nice song to listen to if you get the chance.
Rating: 7/10 (A good song, nothing too special, just nice)
Lyrics: "My wish for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to, your dreams stay big, your worries stay small you never need to carry more than you can hold"
Track 12: Stand
At the moment, the album hasn't been what I expected; I really thought it was going to be an amazing, however I have to say I'm as disappointing as you can really be when you haven't paid for the album, this song however is really good, I was surprised. It's not a country song, it's got more of pop style to it and it works brilliant with LeVox's voice.
I really love the bass beat throughout this song, the guitar riff is also brilliant, and this is one of the best tracks on the song by a long way. The chorus makes it one of the most uplifting tracks by the band and it really is a beautiful song. I wouldn't say this is LeVox's best vocals however it's not the worst, he has kept things quietish during this song and lets the beat drive the track.
A very nicely produced song, one that I will be copying and putting onto my IPod, a very nice track and one to check out if you get a minute.
Rating: 9/10 (A great track, one of the best on the album so far, it was the shining gem on the album, because the other good ones I had already heard of)
Lyrics: "You feel like a candle in a hurricane, Just like a picture with a broken frame, Alone and helpless, Like you've lost your fight, But you'll be alright, you'll be alright"
Track 13: Life Is A Highway
Do they go out with a good track? Well I had a look on YouTube before listening to this song and this is the soundtrack for Cars I believe, so I was very sceptical. It is a good song, however LeVox's vocals are not really good during the verses, the song is a bit too fast and he doesn't do too well there, the chorus however he really lets his vocals show.
This is a good song, but there are better ones on the album, I think that some people will really like this song, I think it's good but just not as brilliant as I think it could be, the verses are just a bit too fast, the chorus nearly makes up for it, and the tune and lyrics are very catchy however this is not the kind of song I'll listen to over and over again. It does have some great guitar riffs in it, which make up for the poor verses.
Rating: 7/10 (A good song, just not as brilliant as I think it could have been)
Lyrics: "Life's like a road that you travel on, When there's one day here and the next day gone, Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand, Sometimes you turn your back to the wind, There's a world outside ev'ry darkened door, Where blues won't haunt you anymore, Where brave are free and lovers soar, Come ride with me to the distant shore"
When I asked to borrow the album I didn't know what to expect, I had seen the price of the greatest hits album on amazon (£21), which is because it's an import CD, however it really is overkill for what you get. There are only about 5 good songs on the whole album and most of those songs I had already heard before.
I have to say I was really disappointed with this album, the one reason why I liked this band is because they wern't too poppy or country they had a style of their own, however apparently only the songs that I had heard were like this and the others were either awful or country, which pretty much adds up to country in my eyes.
There are some brilliant songs on this album however I'm sure that anyone who has heard of this band, has heard these songs before. What Hurts The Most, Moving On and Bless The Broken Road are my favourite, however I had all of these on my IPod already, so you have no idea how glad I am I actually didn't buy this album. The rest of the songs are a mixed back. Most of them I have rated under 5/10, the worst probably being Skin (Sarabeth) just because of the stupid lyrics and the bad singing, I do believe they released this track and I'm not sure how it did, but I was cringing throughout the whole track.
A shock surprise track was Stand, it has an amazing drum beat to the verse and LeVox's voice is brilliant, I have never heard of this song before, I do believe it's been released in America as I'm currently watching the video on YouTube, which is as good as the song. One of the best songs by this band, I really love the production of the song, everything within the track works brilliant together, it's not too overproduced, there is just enough drum beats and guitar riffs, just a beautiful song and one I think will grow on me in time.
I do recommend checking out my other favourite three on the album, What Hurts The Most stands out the most for me, it's the one that was released here in the UK and it did pretty well and I'm sure it'll appeal to a wider audience than bless the broken road and I'm Moving On. I'm sure some of you have heard Bless The Broken Road, however if you haven't heard of I'm Moving On you are missing probably one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Please check it out.
Gary LeVox has some pipes, there is no doubting that it's him when he begins to sing because he really does have one of the most unique voices within music today, he has a great vocal range which means he can handle most songs, however he is let down by the really bad lyrics and the fact that I can't stand really, really country music.
They are first and foremost a country band and their lyrics are cheesy as expected, especially with this album, I'm not going to recommend this album to anyone but the four tracks I do recommend do have cheesyish lyrics, however they are moving and powerful, especially the lyrics within I'm Moving On which really moves the hell out of me, I think it is probably one of the most beautiful and meaningful songs ever written.
Okay the album was a bit of a letdown, well that's understating it a little bit, it was a bit letdown with only four songs that I would recommend on the whole album. These songs are the following:
I'm Moving On: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1bxlDAjGCo&feature=related
What Hurst The Most: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWvmlPp1EDc
Bless The Broken Road: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZp6pmgbZyU
Should You Buy The Album?
Hell No! I am glad that my mate had this album so I could write it off my 'want' list, however I made sure I told him how awful the album is and he agreed with me, however he's attempted to sell it on EBay but has not been able to do it because no one in the UK wants the album.
There are some good songs, but 90% of the album is not good and not fun to listen to. So I would stay away from the album as a whole.
(C) Kirsty 2009
Hope this helps. Please r/r/c
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Prayin' for Daylight
2 I'm Movin' On
3 These Days
4 I Melt
6 Feels Like Today
7 Bless the Broken Road
8 Fast Cars and Freedom
9 Skin (Sarabeth)
10 What Hurts the Most
11 My Wish
13 Life Is a Highway
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 White Christmas [*]
2 Jingle Bell Rock [*]
3 I'll Be Home for Christmas [*]