Saturday, May 02, 2009

Album Review: Rascal Flatts - Unstoppable (4.5/5)

What is it about Rascal Flatts' music that I find so alluring? At a glance, their sound could be described as typical country music, blurring the cackle of drums, electronic guitar and twangy banjos, I'm not one to travel outside my comfort zone when it comes to music --It's the beautiful blend of adult contemporary pop and country that I find so irresistible-- and as I like their fellow country singers Keith Urban, Zac Brown and Alan Jackson-- I'm not so inclined to listen to them on a regular bases.

Whilst Unstoppable isn't widely superior to Rascal Flatt's last album Still Feels Good, it is notably more ballad heavy, offering more sentential moments, than fun --showing off their much underrated vocal power. Getting the album off to a tempestuous start is "Love Who You Love," setting a very perpetual tone for the rest of the album, consisting of the typical instruments that make a archetypical country song, strings, drums, acoustic guitar and piano. Following up well is one of the highlights "Here Comes Goodbye," which nicely paces with violins, beautiful piano work and a amazing vocal performance. Limited to an acrid 11 tracks, there doesn't seem to be much room for diversity, a rare upbeat (opinionatedly sensual) moment comes from "Summer Nights" which reside towards the end of the album --sounding a bit like their cover of Tom Cochrane's "Life Is A Highway," taken from 2005s Me and My Gang notably the electronic guitar embedded in the track. The lyric: "Everybody's feeling sexy", sounds just a tad awkward but it's something to chuckle at. Another more upbeat moment comes from "She'd Be In California" which takes a more breezy route, not necessarily a favorite but it's a decent song.

"Close" and "Forever" which run consecutively, are my favorite mid tempo's --very buoyant orientated tracks-- The title track "Unstoppable" isn't as epic I expected it to be, but it does a very nice melody, it's mostly made up of violins, strings and drums. "Things That Matter" is another killer ballad, consisting of delicate strums of strings and pacing drums. "Holdin' On," "Once," and the closing track "Why" are just classic string and drum country, which leaves me with nothing else to say about the album. Collectively Unstoppable is a brilliant country album, definately not as good as Me and My Gang but definitely rivaling Still Feels Good.

Best: Love Who You Love, Here Comes Goodbye, Forever, Close, Summer Nights, Why

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