Rascal Flatts Hasn’t Changed

Rascal Flatts is commonly known for country songs with a sense of twang and a summertime feel. Their fans sing along to their relatable music about learning life lessons, having fun while being young and the occasional ballad on searching for true love. Yet, on their new album “Changed,” the country trio describes how they’ve matured as men and as performers since their first hit over a decade ago.

While Rascal Flatts members Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney take a slightly more serious tone with their latest album, the change is subtle.  “Banjo,” the album’s first single, has a noticeable increase of twang and background tempo to it, but the overall sound is similar to 2000 hit “Praying for Daylight.”

In the past, the trio has often sung about their heartbreak or loss of love. But in their new song “Changed,” Rascal Flatts sings for the first time about being sorry for their own mistakes in the relationship, singing how “I got off track, I made mistakes, / Backslid my way back to that place, / Where souls get lost, lines get crossed, / And the pain won’t go away / I hit my knees, now here I stand / There I was, now here I am.”

While the message of the song shows a maturity, the sound of the track might remind fans of another 2000 hit, “I’m Movin’ On,” in which the trio sings about being trapped in past relationships.

A personal favorite on the new album is “Sunrise,” offering a pretty and light sound like traditional Rascal Flatts songs, despite its more serious subject: a man falling in love with a woman hurt by a previous boyfriend and attempting to teach her to trust love once again. The background consists of a fun guitar hook, a catchy sound and LeVox’s beautiful voice and motivational lyrics singing, “Let me get you out of here, / Wipe away all your tears, / Now you’re safe in these arms of mine / I won’t ever let you down / Your heart will start to come around, / We gonna change your life, / One sunrise at a time.”

Perhaps a better title for this album would have been, “Slowly Changing,” because aside from a few lyrics, this new “changed” Rascal Flatts is the same country trio their fans have known and loved for 12 years. The music is as catchy as ever and there doesn’t even appear to be a need for them to alter their styles in the first place.

Rating: 4 out of 5