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Rascal Flatts still on fire

Courtney Wilson | Thursday, November 11, 2004

With the release of “Feels like Today,” Rascal Flatts naturally maintains its standing as one of the hottest groups in country music today. Five years into its recording career and these multi-platinum songsters have already achieved numerous billboard hits and music awards. Voted by both the CMA and ACM as a top vocal group, it has produced three soulful and highly acclaimed records. With their stellar good looks, and ever so charming vocals, the members of Rascal Flatts have come to represent a new wave of refreshing pop-country.

After its release five weeks ago, “Feels like Today” had rapidly climbed its way to the number one spot on the Country Music Billboard Chart and has since maintained a top position on the countdown. This week the group comes in at a not so shabby number six, dropping two spots from last week. For Rascal Flatts fans, this should come as no surprise. The guys have developed an identifiable sound, well liked for its animated harmonies and communicative lyrics. Like most country artists, the group’s songs are characteristically about life and love. Distinctively, however, the members of Rascal Flatts reflect positively on the past, live in the moment, and convey confidence toward the future.

The female audience is sure to respond to this album in that, the majority of the songs portray men in the not so common role of starry-eyed romantics. “Bless the Broken Road,” tells of the narrator’s journey to finding his soul mate. It is easily the best song on the entire CD. The chorus is a touching reaction, which repeats “Every long lost dream, lead me to where you are, others who broke my heart they were like the Northern Star, pointing me on my way into your loving arms. This much I know is true, that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.”

Traditionally, the Rascal Flatts audience has been made up of predominately young females. With each album, this being the third, the group has progressively matured in its music, and additionally broadened its fan base. Previously released hits such as “I’m Movin’ On,” and “These Days,” were clearly geared to a more adult audience. The majority of its songs, however, and especially those on “Feels Like Today,” are interpretive and can be widely appreciated by most age groups.

Rascal Flatts’ devotees will enjoy “Here’s to You,” a fun song dedicated to every type of fan, calling them, “You’re the heart and the soul, and the reason we do what we do.”

“Fast Cars and Freedom,” as well as “Oklahoma-Texas Line” are two of the more upbeat and ‘twangy’ tracks you can find on the CD.

Country boys Gary LeVox, Jay DeMurac and Joe Don Rooney are an undeniably talented and involved group of singers. So much so that they have co-produced their albums, played their own instruments and collaborated to create a collection of personal lyrics that hones their successfully recognizable sound. Comparable, but not limited to, a boy band image, the trio works perfectly in unison with each other, complementing one another’s individual styles.

The album “Feels like Today,” is just another hit album the guys can tack on to their fast growing list of chart toppers.