Review – Rascal Flatts’ “Yours If You Want It”

rascal-flatts-yours-if-you-want-it

I’m going to be honest: I’m surprised Rascal Flatts is still relevant in mainstream country in 2017. I would have thought by now this trio, which has been formed since 1999, would be deemed too old by country radio to play. Usually when a country artist or in this case group approach their late 40s the clock starts ticking down on airplay time. Before their last single that looked to be the case, as both singles that came before it didn’t even reach the top 15. But the aforementioned last single “I Like The Sound of That” went #1 of course and served as a reminder that this group isn’t quite done yet. They’re now back with a lead single from a new album, “Yours If You Want It.” It’s a step up from “I Like The Sound of That” because this one doesn’t feature the laziest songwriting with an even more lazy name-dropping of Justin Timberlake. But on the other hand if you’ve heard one Rascal Flatts song, this new one sounds just like it. This group’s sound has pretty much stayed the same for the duration of their career: real light weight production with a token banjo and palpable pop influences to compliment the super clean vocals of the trio. This song also features their favorite trope: nice guy love song. It doesn’t really make me angry, it just really bores me. This song is so toothless that it would be silly to get worked up over it. This is just Walmart music: corporate, cliché and neatly boxed together to appeal for mass consumption. One good thing I can say is it’s really easy to review Rascal Flatts music as I can write the same thing every time because this trio never innovates or changes their sound. What’s disappointing is once upon a time they released some good songs (“Skin” and “Mayberry” come to mind), but now they’re content to release generic filler like “Yours If You Want It.”

Grade: 3/10

 

Recommend? – Nah

Written by Andrew Dorff and Jonathan Singleton

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19 thoughts on “Review – Rascal Flatts’ “Yours If You Want It”

  1. I’ll be honest the last Rascal Flatts song I absolutely loved was “Why Wait” and “Come Wake Me Up”, the former because it was upbeat and kept the lead vocalist in check. While the latter has a beautiful instrumentation and Gary Levox (I think that’s his name) sings the absolute hell out of it, such raw passion (wonder what you think of both)

    As for this song I initially loved it a lot. But the more I listen to it the more, I am like it’s good but could be a lot better. The verses are really catchy and strong/solid, honestly the production reminds me some of their late 2000s material. But the chorus kinda loses me a little and that bridge is not good at all. Their harmonies are a little more audible which is nice.

    Overall a 5 to 6 out of 10. It’s pleasant radio filter, but it’s nice filler. Nothing too offensive but overall I like it.

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  2. The best Rascal Flatts single in a long time. But it’s not necessary a good song. (5/10)
    Billboard Country Update (01/09): #31/Hot Shot Debut – Rascal Flatts – Yours If You Want It

    Top Country Albums: #1 – Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Chart-Week 88)
    Americana/Folk Albums: #1 – Chris Stapleton – Traveller

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  3. There’s something about the way both the verses and the chorus rattle off so many words that just gets overbearing instantly.

    I mean, there’s so little breathing space for the admittedly gutless to begin with instrumentation that, even though LeVox is still showing more restraint as a vocalist since the “Nothing Like This” era (though he comes closer to the “Unstoppable” brand of oversinging at times) makes him still FEEL overbearing. Because he won’t stop rattling unnecessarily long lines of lyrics.

    And yet, in spite of the long-windedness of some of them, I’d argue the lyrics are actually the strongest aspect of this track. The late Dorff and fellow songwriter Singleton admittedly make a genuine effort to make connections with what we may generally regard as mundane imagery as adding up to the simplest beauty in life that complete an old-fashioned romance. And yeah, I can get behind blades of grass and pebbles on the beach amounting to my fair share of treasured memories.

    But that is ultimately undercut by some of the most banal Adult Contemporary production I’ve heard in a Rascal Flatts song since……………………….well, okay: most of their discography is wrought with banal Adult Contemporary production, you got me there……………………….but still, “Rewind” and “I Like The Sound Of That” at least had sonic upgrades to their otherwise pedestrian production to sound current, and I hated their absurd attempt at douchiness with “Payback” but the production at least aimed for something different even if embarrassing in the end.

    This………………………..sounds like 90’s Martina McBride (and that’s not a compliment). This is nothing particularly bad by any stretch. But I’d still say it is worse-than-pleasantly-innocuous. It just sounds in-one-ear-and-out-the-other. I imagine this will chart well at radio being a lead single, but it will be instantly forgotten about after peaking.

    I’m thinking a Strong 3 to a Light 4 out of 10 for this.

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  4. As someone who’s got a fondness for 2000’s style country (alright, more like nostalgia), I can’t honestly say I dislike this. There’s definitely things wrong with it – the lyrics are lightweight, and Gary’s vocals aren’t going to win any awards with me anytime soon, but as far as the production goes, it sounds like something they would have done back when they were big. It’s somewhat cutting through my critical faculties, but yeah, as far as I guess guilty pleasures are concerned, I can’t dislike this personally.

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    • Now that you mention, I can. Not surprising considering Hayes occupies the same sonic space of Rascal Flatts.

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        • I’m highly skeptical, although his current single has a chance to maybe be something. It’s currently mired in the crapshoot that is #35 and below on the airplay chart.

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          • Yeah agreed. I think he has potential as he is a pretty impressive instrumentalist. However, he really hasn’t grown in terms of lyrics and sound. He’s obviously not very country sounding, but his first album had some respectable work.

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    • I never minded “I Want Crazy” upon its release, and still don’t in all honesty.

      Yeah, it does venture into pop a bit too much for my general personal tastes. But it had an infectious energy to it and a Cajun/zydeco flavor to some of its instrumentation with the accordion primarily that made it genuinely stand out compared to everything else he has released to radio to date.

      I’ll take “I Want Crazy” over this any day in a heartbeat.

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  5. The problem with having been around for a while as a musician is all your songs begin sounding like songs you’ve already done. If you really do want to change it up though, you risk alienating your fans, who are your fans because they like the music you’ve been making.

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    • Yes, no doubt RF fans will like this song. But at the same time they aren’t earning any new fans. Of course at this point they don’t really need to worry about this. So I don’t blame them and understand why they release this type of music.

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