News Column

Review: Rascal Flatts modernizes sound on new LP

May 12, 2014

MICHAEL McCALL, Associated Press



Rascal Flatts, "Rewind" (Big Machine)

Rascal Flatts may have named their ninth album, "Rewind," but musically the country-pop trio takes a much-needed step forward.

Punching up arrangements with rock energy ("Payback") and synth-pop flourishes ("Honeysuckle Lazy"), the band undergoes a contemporary country makeover as it celebrate its 15th year. The result makes for a more fun, mature and diverse sound washing away the stale taste of recent outings.

On "Rewind," lead singer Gary LeVox, bassist-pianist-singer Jay Demarcus and guitarist Joe Don Rooney take a bigger hand in their production, cutting more than half of the album on their own. Led by Demarcus, who has co-produced albums by Jo Dee Messina and the rock band Chicago, the trio moves the needle forward on the engaging "DJ Tonight" and the title cut, a recent country Top 10 hit.

The group also brought in pop veteran Howard Benson, who produced five cuts, including the dance floor-ready "Powerful Stuff." Old hand Dann Huff, who had produced the band since 2006, worked with the group on the catchy "Life's A Song," which sounds more like the old Rascal Flatts. But what makes "Rewind" exciting is that Rascal Flatts has fast-forwarded into the future.


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Source: Associated Press