Country-pop trio Rascal Flatts have recently added album number nine to their impressive discography, returning with the fresh and inspired Rewind. The three-piece from Ohio have a lot of success to look back on which may explain the album’s title, but the content suggests that they are very much looking towards the future as they deliver an incredibly catchy and mature country-slash-pop record.
The record begins with the cheeky, rock influenced Payback in which lead singer Gary LeVox offers himself as an alternative partner to a pretty girl whose boyfriend who is taking her for granted (“Let me guess/Somebody done you wrong/And you’re looking for a way to get your feel good on/Get some pictures on the Instagram and show him what he’s missin’…I can be your payback”).
Next up is the title track Rewind, which is more mellow and slow-paced than the previous song, telling of a desire to go back in time and repeat significant moments (“Put the moon back into the sky/Put a cork back into that sweet red wine…Untouch your skin/Unkiss your lips and kiss ‘em again”).
The guys show off their pop side with DJ Tonight, which is a fun, upbeat track that is perfect for the mainstream airwaves while maintaining an underlying country edge, not dissimilar to their huge 2006 road-trippin’ take of Life Is A Highway.
The album closes on a relaxed, positive note with The Mechanic, which is a touching country-style ballad to a significant other who is always there when needed and how the protagonist would be lost without them, using the metaphor of being a Chevy being broken down if the other person weren’t around.
The record drifts in and out of genres, incorporating songs that are heavy on the pop, rock, country and ballad sides. The versatility keeps things interesting throughout the 13 track-collection which doesn’t appear to have a weak link as all songs deserve their spot on the album.
LeVox’s vocals are as in-form as we’ve heard from the 43-year-old as he switches effortlessly from powerful, deep tones to higher, more delicate pitches and back again. The instrumental side of things is equally as tight and controlled as each song is complemented by the instruments which never drown or understate the vocals.
Rewind is a fantastic album which looks to the future while giving a metaphorical nod to the group’s previous works. The new record shows a lot of promise for the band as they deliver a fresh take on their signature style of country-pop. To continue to evolve while not straying too far from an original sound is one of the most vital skills to have in the music world and Rascal Flatts have shown they are more than capable of this with Rewind.