Album Review: Rascal Flatts’ NOTHING LIKE THIS is More Delicious Than a Box of Oreos

Let me just start out by saying that as a proud classical musician and metalhead, I’ve never been a fan of country music. So I’ve got a dirty little secret to share – I love Rascal Flatts. It all started when I heard their song, “Life Is a Highway” in the Disney animated feature Cars. I liked the song so much that I checked out their greatest hits album from the local library just so I could burn the tune. I’ve spun the album way more times than I’d care to admit.

So what is it that I love so much about Rascal Flatts? First of all, I’m a sucker for great vocalists. Lead singer Gary LeVox’s smooth tenor voice and acrobatic vocal turns really do it for me. Second, the band’s vocal harmonies are thick enough to sink your teeth into. Third, the electric guitar solos in each song season the country with a little rock ‘n roll. Finally, I adore the picturesque and unexpectedly poignant lyrics.

Rascal Flatts’ newest release, Nothing Like This , paints a nostalgic picture of love, summertime, and well-deserved parties. Listening to this album makes me feel as if I’ve eaten an entire box of Oreos – extremely happy and slightly guilty.

There are a slew of romantic songs including “Why Wait”, about a man head-over-heels in love busting at the seams to marry his sweetheart; “Nothing like This”, a simple ballad with some admirable vocal work by LeVox; and “Summer Young”, the tale of a man falling in love with his date at a concert.

The album also features party songs which will bring the audiences to their feet. “Play” reminds hard-working folks that no matter where you live, it’s okay to take a break and have fun. “Tonight Tonight”, about cutting loose the end of the week, features rhythmic lyrics with a great swing to them.

Four songs in particular stood out to me. “Easy” tells the story of a couple trying to put on a brave face when seeing each other out after a breakup. Gary LeVox and guest artist Natasha Bedingfield engage in passionate vocal interplay over slow, triple meter power chords. “All Night to Get There” is a peppy, nostalgic tune about summertime teenage romance. The song includes some of my favorite lyrics of the entire album:

Nowhere to be and all night to get there/all night-breathing the same air/real close and real slow baby/just you and me and love laying right here

“Red Camaro” appeals to my inner rocker with great electric guitar riffs which evoke an old-school rock ‘n roll feeling. It closes out with the zoom of a Camaro. “They Try”, the most unique sounding song on the album, features a Beatlesque sitar effect.

Track listing is as follows:

1. Why Wait
2. Easy
3. Sunday Afternoon
4. Play
5. Nothing like This
6. All Night to Get There
7. Red Camaro
8. They Try
9. Summer Young
10. Tonight Tonight
11. I Won’t Let Go

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