Rascal Flatts – “I Won’t Let Go”

C.M. Wilcox | January 26th, 2011

Rascal Flatts

Songwriters: Steve Robson and Jason Sellers

“I Won’t Let Go” could be a vow of marital devotion or a promise to protect a baby daughter through her childhood years. Perhaps it’s a helping hand extended to a friend, or maybe the whole thing is written from the vantage point of God addressing a member of his flock. It could even be a song mourning the deteriorating health of a pet turtle. As written, there is absolutely no way of knowing. The whole thing is just so darn vague. And the problem starts at the top, with the BMI database listing 36 other songs with this exact same title.

If lyrics like “I will stand by you/I will help you through/When you’ve done all you can do” lack much of the poetry and specificity of “Bless the Broken Road,” LeVox & Co. don’t let on that they’ve noticed. In fact, they treat this like the best thing they’ve ever heard, giving a tasteful, restrained reading that bears favorable comparison to their career-defining cut of the aforementioned “Road” and their winning a cappella recording of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

When Team Flatts isn’t bobbing that head or celebrating the widespread sexiness of coed summer nights, they can be very good singers. Like “Why Wait” before it, “I Won’t Let Go” recalls the crisp, harmony-centered sound of the trio’s very first recordings, before their arena rock inclinations were given free reign. Sure, the lone piano of the opening is eventually joined by a full band, and LeVox predictably kicks the theatrics up a notch at the bridge. But there’s a lot more restraint here than we heard from these guys in the years leading up to Nothing Like This. It’s sort of refreshing to find them doing their thing this well again.

Lyrics don’t come much more generic, but Rascal Flatts singles don’t come much more beautifully executed. If there ever existed any truly good reason to rename oneself The Voice–and please bear in mind that this is very much a hypothetical proposition–it would probably be found in performances like this.

Thumbs Up

Listen: Rascal Flatts – “I Won’t Let Go”

  1. Ben Foster
    January 26, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I probably would have given it a Thumbs Down, but I agree with just about everything up to the final verdict. I did notice that Gary’s performance is much more toned back, which I appreciate. I just can’t seem to get over how dull the lyrics are.

  2. Tara Seetharam
    January 26, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Great review.

  3. Thomas
    January 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    …if you’re looking for a country station and your auto-tuner stops in the middle of this song, you push the button straight away again, just to hear it finding – hello world.

    i belong to those, who find it quite hard not to have fiddle and steel in an awful lot of songs anymore – but not finding any country at all in them is asked a little too much.

    this is some of the biggest crap i’ve ever heard under the name of country and i don’t care, if it’s sung well or god knows what. it’s pointless and useless – it’s hopeless fluff polluting the airwaves, even though the title and lyrics suggest otherwise.

  4. Amanda
    January 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I have to admit I’m kind of over Rascal Flatts at this point. Yes, it’s sung well. But I’m just getting tired of cliche inspirational/romantic/love ballads from artists in general. I may like the song for about a week and then it’s taken off my play list for good. Maybe I’m just a cynic. Who knows.

  5. Tim
    January 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    For a while there, I thought RF hit an inescapable rut. With their last two albums being their worst efforts, this album and this sends us back to the begining of the Flatts. I hope this album signifys a starting over of their career and a return to the top of country music’s best vocal group.

  6. Troy
    January 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I’m liking it so far, sounds like it is the best they have done since Me and My Gang era.

  7. SHAWNA
    January 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    This song, like many others from these wonderful men, was beautifully sand and the lyrics were exactly what I needed to hear…they usually have this effect on me. I WILL BE A FAN FOR LIFE. GOD BLESS YOU RASCAL FLATTS!

  8. Noeller
    January 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Terribly over-dramatic song that isn’t sung as well as they’re capable of. This track is a major “lunchbag letdown” for me after the relative awesomeness that was Why Wait. Just when I thought they were turning a corner back to respectability….they go and do this. Booooo!

  9. Steve
    January 27, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Awful. When this comes on I turn. I wish they’d just dissapear and i’d like my radio a lot better.

  10. gloria
    January 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I agree with Steve! Their music really gags me!

  11. Emgee
    January 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Well, Steve and Gloria, the hundreds of thousands of us who flock to RF concerts each year would tend to DISAGREE with you.

    Sorry. (Read: Not sorry)

  12. Nathan Weber
    January 28, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Rascal Flatts haters are the same as Nickelback haters. They hate on anyone who has any success. I give the haters no thought anymore.

    I’ve loved all of Rascal Flatts music but they did get a little predictable, safe, and they leave the best tracks as album tracks.

  13. stormy
    January 28, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Yes, they are. Both bands are hated because they made poor quality music and keep releasing the same song over and over. And both bands are less popular than pickles.

  14. Ben Foster
    January 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

    With regard to Rascal Flatts, I do tend to agree with the general opinions expressed on these blog sites. If you don’t think the Flatts are any good, that’s one thing, but it’s hard to make a case for them not being popular. Just look at their sales numbers.

  15. stormy
    January 28, 2011 at 8:48 am
  16. Ben Foster
    January 28, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Ohhh, I see. Sorry, it went over my head.

  17. Noah Eaton
    January 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I too am of the opinion that, while the songwriting is just way too wafer-thin and Hallmark card predictable to justify giving this a final verdict of Thumbs Up (I think it’s a given this will have a fleeting quality with virtually all listeners and that lack of staying power/impressionability alone makes it Thumbs Up-proof in my view)—–I nonetheless agree that LeVox offers one of his finer vocal performances and the production is appeasing—–and so the song is also Thumbs Down-proof to me.

    It’s just a predictable, yet well-executed, Thumbs Sideways type of song.

  18. Goatmeal
    February 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

    How did this tripe get a thumbs up HERE???

  19. Reason
    February 6, 2011 at 12:07 am

    First of all I love RF have for a long time now but I’m not to in love with this album. I think they shoulda took more time in the studio with this album it feels rushed. Why wait is an awesome song and wont let go is okay but it’s the hallmark of RF it’s their bread and butter. I thought the idea of a new album was to try new sounds step away from the bread and butter, I believe again this album was to rushed just to put something out to the fans is bullshit,.

  20. Lauren
    February 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I think “I Won’t Let Go” is a great song! Very touching with wonderful lyrics. Be sure to call your local radio station to request it!!

  21. Sunshine
    February 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I Love This song. Maybe when you go through as many things in life as I, this song brings tears to my eyes. Thank you!!

  22. Brenda
    February 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I listened to this song this weekend. A friend’s husband dedicated it to her for Valentine’s Day. She had tried to commit suicide one month before. He wants her to know he will not let go. I feel God through Rascal Flats wrote this song for people out there who think no one cares but they do care, especially GOD. I raise my hands in praise to HIM.

  23. Debbie
    March 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Perfect timing! Am taking care of my elderly father who is having trouble coping with the realization that he is not able to do what he has always been able to do for me. I heard this song today for the first time on yet another trip to his house. Thank you! The critics just need to keep surfing the airwaves if they don’t like this. Thanks.

  24. Darla
    March 11, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I love this song along with most of their songs. I am all for anything inspirational that is positive. We have too much negative in the world today. I think this is a feel good song and I LOVE IT. It is great to be inspired and hear something good. Makes me think of everyone in my life that I care for.

  25. Judy
    March 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    This is an awesome song. I love any song RF does. I may use this for my wedding song.I wish I could have played it for my dad before he passed a couple of years ago. RF keep up the great work. Keep us crying, laughing and singing along for as long as you can.

  26. dakota
    March 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    this song reminds me of Jesus anytime i hear it
    this sounds like something Jesus would be saying to us…thx rascalflatts…anyways maybe God himself issued this song to be made for those who need to hear the message that’s in the song, it’s a possibility, maybe he made the idea of this song spark up into their minds for that reason…idk for sure but i’m just saying it’s a possibility that God himself wanted this song to spread out in the world for the message that’s in it

  27. Janet
    April 21, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I love this song! My sister is suffering from neoplastic encephalitis secondary to samll cell lung cancer and it is my song to her.

  28. brad
    May 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    “I Won’t Let Go’ is special to me because I’m a Christian. It felt like to me, because we didn’t define the character in the song, it could be a friend saying it to a friend, it could in some sense be God saying it to someone, it could be you saying it to your husband or wife … So in that sense, the song’s exciting to me, because it’s got an inspirational message. It says something good that lifts people up.” Jason Sellers

  29. Erica
    June 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    #1 Smash Hit! The 9513 got it right!

  30. kristina
    July 2, 2011 at 5:19 am

    This song says to me, that this will be like Paul Stookey’s the Wedding Song, Gary Curtis Chapman’s I Will Be Here, a wedding song played for years to come. Everytime I hear it I think of my husband of 26 years and father to our 8 children. Times have been tough but he has always stood by me and I can trust he always will. THANK’s RF this is a great one!

  31. Gloria
    October 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I heard the song for the first time and will be using it at my church on October 9th breast cancer awareness month, A praise dancer will be dancing to it.

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