The Critics Corner | Albums

Up All Night Rascal Flatts’ new album proves their musical prowess hasn’t Changed.
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Album name: Changed
Label: Big Machine Records
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review written by: Maura Harwood
“Here I am, changed,” proclaims lead singer of Rascal Flatts Gary LeVox, on the title song of their new album Changed. Truth be told, nothing has changed much for the hit country band. Fresh off their latest album Nothing Like This that went platinum, Rascal Flatts has once again proven that their innate ability to produce top 40 singles and albums has not changed in the slightest with the release of their highly anticipated new album.

The first single off of the new album, “Banjo,” peaked at number 7 on the Billboard charts. The song details the joys of simple country living and how one simply has to “go ‘till you hear a banjo,” to escape the craziness of urban life. The song is one of the more up-tempo songs on the album. Emotional power ballads have always seemed to be the band’s forte and that certainly hasn’t changed with this album. “A Little Home” is a moving tribute to the importance of our roots and how sometimes, “you just need a little home.” The mention of college life and military life in the song makes it relatable and real. Many of the songs on Changed are raw and real, including “Let It Hurt.” A beautiful piano melody underscores powerful lyrics that remind us that “sometimes the only way around it is to let love do its work,” referring to the pain we endure in love and relationships and how sometimes we need to just “let it hurt” for it to get better.

However, not all of the songs are as emotional as “Let It Hurt.” “Great Big Love,” a country-rock combination, provides the album with a hopeful, drive-with-your-windows down kind of country song. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” the driving rhythm reminds us. And of course, the hit single “Banjo” stays true to its title with banjos sprinkled throughout the song and true country roots poking through throughout the song.

Changed
is a testament to the fact that Rascal Flatts is not going away any time soon. They’ve proven time and again that they not only know how to rock, but also how to move people to tears, and Changed does not disappoint.
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