Album Review: Rascal Flatts – Still Feels Good

Jim Malec | September 25th, 2007

Rascal Flatts Purchasing a Rascal Flatts CD is like going to Baskin-Robbins and ordering a vanilla waffle-cone. There are so many flavors of Country Music that it seems a shame to settle for the blandest of all the varieties, especially when you could be adventurous and try Jamoca Oreo or my personal favorite Love Potion #31.

Still Feels Good is a record for people who don’t want to taste anything chunky in their ice cream.

And I’m OK with that. Vanilla is, statistically speaking, America’s favorite flavor. People like consistency, and there’s nothing wrong with a sugary-sweet desert that goes down smooth and easy, even if it offers little (or no) nutritional value.

That’s exactly what you get with Rascal Flatts’ 5th studio album. Every song sounds just about the same. It’s forty-or-so minutes of Gary LeVox in his trademark EmoCountry mode. It’s whiny power ballads with a single, nonsensical, up-tempo (“Bob That Head”) thrown into the mix. It’s after-the-fact steel guitar that clashes violently with the rest of the album’s production aesthetic. It’s obvious rehashings of earlier hits (“Here” is a much less poignant version of “Bless The Broken Road”). And it’s going to sell by the gallon because Country Radio will play this audio junk-food incessantly.

Just like with ice cream, however, consuming too much too fast can cause serious headaches.

1 Stars

4 Pings

  1. [...] The 9513 reviews “Still Feels Good” - They gave it 1 out of 5 stars which I’d probably agree with but their explanation of why is so much better. It pretty much sums up them and a chunk of other artists. Read it here. [...]
  2. [...] to disappoint me anymore, but Still Feels Good earns a spot on this list because the album that Jim Malec aptly described as "vanilla" seemed to disappoint even some members of Rascal Flatts' fan base. The only songs on the project [...]
  3. [...] as melodramatic as “It’s Not Supposed To Go Like That,” a song Pinson co-wrote on Rascal Flatts’ latest album, its attempts to convey emotion are juvenile and anything but [...]
  4. [...] latest, “Here,” falls into that category, although, as has been pointed out elsewhere, it’s a rehashed version of “Bless The Broken Road.” Is it really poignant, [...]
  1. Andre
    September 25, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    im not a big fan of the guys either, but i went to the store today i decided to buy the album, i have listened all the way through and i thought it was pretty good, i kind of like it. people dont be discouraged to buy it, you can listen to it on one of the other country websites. you will see that all of the songs do not sound the same. but hey at least you can try it before you buy it.

  2. Pierce
    September 26, 2007 at 7:24 am

    I thought “Winners at a Losing Game” was a decent number, but didn’t care for the rest of the album.

  3. Chet
    September 26, 2007 at 7:46 am

    The song “No Reins” is perhaps the best song they’ve recorded – and also the most Restless Heart sounding song I’ve heard from anyone outside of RH themselves. Rest of the album is junk though.

  4. JuniorD
    September 26, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Nice writing Jim :-D

  5. Brody Vercher
    September 26, 2007 at 8:49 am

    I like Blue Bell’s double chocolate chip cookie dough, which probably means this album isn’t for me. :P

  6. Caitlin
    September 26, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Spot on!

  7. Dave S
    September 26, 2007 at 9:20 am

    I like “Take Me There” and “Everyday” but the rest of the album is painful.

  8. Heidi
    September 26, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Yes, great writing. I had no intention of buying this album and I still don’t but I enjoyed this review :)

  9. Willamina
    September 26, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Rascul Flatts is my favorite and you don’t talk about em like that this album rocks my world!ok LOL, your ears are dumb. how can you say that, when you can’t sing like gary or rite these killer songs!!! One star your kidding me!!! IMO best ablum this year maybe there best one yet. I love you joe don!!!

  10. Alana
    September 26, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Someone needs to take a chill pill. I have to agree. I live in Columbus, where these guys are from and they worship them like they are gods, and I am sorry to say that they are poor excuse for a country boy band….they talked to them earlier this week and played part of the album and it sounded like every other song they have ever put out….

  11. Carrie
    September 26, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    Wow. Do you ever say anything good about these guys? I think a more unbiased person towards RF should write reviews. They are very talented and cut great songs! This review is lousy just like everyone you do on these guys.

  12. Devo
    September 26, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Couldnt have said it better myself.

  13. Lynn
    September 26, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    I listened to the album and have to agree with this review. Billboard put up a similar review…you might enjoy that.

  14. Gaby
    September 27, 2007 at 7:06 am

    I agree with the review. Nothing different than they have ever done, and certainly nothing “ground breaking” like LeVox insists they are putting out.

  15. Brady Vercher
    September 27, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Hot girl wants a ride climbs up inside
    Feeling that rhyme right along with him
    Now he’s cruising don’t wanna loose it
    Loop around Sonic and right back on it
    No gear, drive by
    Up and down that’s right
    Bob that head

    Seriously, how much more suggestive could you get without coming out and saying it? That song is a complete disaster. Besides the suggestive interpretation, it’s a wannabe rap song with a Big & Rich vibe, they hilariously name check themselves, and they sing about cruising around Sonic.

  16. Chris N.
    September 27, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention “It’s Not Supposed To Go Like That,” which is so over the top that I literally broke out laughing the first time I heard it. Blood runs red on the highway! Beware!

  17. Brady Vercher
    September 27, 2007 at 10:03 am

    I didn’t make it that far before I quit listening, but I checked it out since you mentioned it, and wow, that is terrible. How could a song like that ever be taken seriously enough to make the cut on a major release?

  18. mfrank_
    September 27, 2007 at 10:41 am

    seriously? those are the actual lyrics to an actual song? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! that’s classic. ‘bob that head’? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! is that an actual reference to oral sex or am i reading that wrong?

    i’m guessing that song was cut because it was written by a proven hit-maker that had previously written some other stupendous awesome hits for them (or some other nashville entity). after all, they’re proven hit-makers, you know. their shit comes out like roses in springtime. :)

  19. Brady Vercher
    September 27, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Those are indeed the actual lyrics, but it’s really about bobbing your head to music. You know, like headbanging, only slightly less violent.

  20. Jim Malec
    September 27, 2007 at 11:06 am

    What’s really sad is that Bobby Pinson co-wrote “It’s Not Supposed To Go Like That”

  21. Jodi
    September 27, 2007 at 11:39 am

    I totally agree with this review!! Every song they sing sounds the same to me! Also hearing them sing live is like fingers running down a chalk board!! They appeared in my hometown the first part of this year and people were calling into the radio station saying how lousy they were and that their opening act was better than them. The people were wanting their money back.

  22. antonio
    September 27, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    personally, i think anyone willing to shell over hard-earned money for rascal flatts deserves to have their money taken away from them. sort of a voluntary economic darwinism. it’s good for america, i think.

  23. Sebastian
    October 1, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    I DON’T agree with the review!
    You find some BIG songs on the album:
    Winner At A Losing Game
    She Goes All The Way (amazing song and vocal performence!)
    Take Me There

    I think you give 1 Star, because the are such a BIG name in county music.
    1 Star for the review…

  24. Stephen H.
    October 1, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of big names in county music. Especially here in Cook County, Ill. Back home when I lived in Rockingham County, N.H., now THAT’s where all the big names in county music were good artists.

  25. Ruth
    October 5, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    It seems to me that they are going for sales instead of quality. Their concerts are getting boring (Ive seen every single one), and their cds are going in the same direction. Don’t get me wrong, I still love them, but they need to take a step back and create good, soulful, heartfelt Rascal Flatts stuff and stop making it all about the benjamins.

    I think this is considered “selling out.”

  26. Ryan
    October 8, 2007 at 3:25 am

    Typical review by someone who hate “mainstream” country music. Is Rascal Flatts safe, middle of the road music? Yes. Do they often blur the line between country and pop? Yes. To the tune of almost 15 million albums sold, and a sold out tour every year. Here that laughing? It’s three Ohio boys snickering at pages just like this.

  27. Brady Vercher
    October 8, 2007 at 6:51 am

    Typical comment by someone who thinks they know everything after reading a couple of paragraphs and that music is only good if it makes money. Forgive me if that’s not you, I’m trying to make a point using your line of logic.

    How about you tell us what makes this album artistically compelling instead of falling back on sales numbers as a crutch.

  28. Jim Malec
    October 8, 2007 at 7:44 am

    I obviously hate mainstream country music. I mean, if you go back and read the rest of my reviews on this site, you’ll see that I am a strong traditionalist. /sarcasm

  29. Double-L
    November 16, 2007 at 1:50 am

    I’m so beyond disappointed in myself for even HOPING they may have put something on “Still Feels Good” that even hinted at country music. And I mean country as in, even the EVOLVED country format of today. I guess “Winner at a Losing Game” comes close… but my word. Let’s just let them cross on over to the AC stations already and get it over with. I’m sorry guys, but it’s just gotta stop. And what HAPPENED at the CMA performance with Gary’s Le “VOX” ??? Yikers. I guess, on the Target-sold albums, there was a “bluegrass” cut. But I didn’t get that version because I wouldn’t go purchase this CD even if I found $15.00 on the ground with a note “BUY RF MUSIC” sharpied on it.

  30. Jim Malec
    November 16, 2007 at 7:56 am

    Double-L; I didn’t notice the voice problems. I was too distracted by the girl-pants.

  31. Double-L
    November 16, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Seriously, Jim! I hate to admit that I’m actually kinda used to that now with Joe Don… his stylist… always pusing the fashion limits! Have you gone back recently and looked at their first album cover? Joe Don has the short hair and almost teenage looking face… a completely different person! I was playing requests on Monday night and when I grabbed the album I almost fell over in shock! PS – I don’t think he was wearing any underpants…. !!! ;)

  32. Jim Malec
    November 16, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Oh God…I don’t want to think about Joe Don without underpants.

  33. Double-L
    November 17, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Hahahaha! I’m on the air right now CRACKING UP, thanks to you! End of undergarment discussion, now! ;)

  34. Jim Malec
    November 17, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Well, we’ve already seen Gary’s butt in the “Melt” video, so I guess it all fits together.

  35. Double-L
    November 17, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    No! No! No! If it was Gary’s butt, that video would DEFINITELY have been pulled… and SOONER! It was Joe Don, and for that I guess I can be thankful for small favors! Are you trying to freak me out over here, Jim? I’ve gotta go soak my head in hot water to erase the mental picture. If there’s dead air, it’s your fault. :)

  36. Jim Malec
    November 17, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Oh, you’re totally right…I don’t know why I thought it was Gary. I wonder if that video shoot was where he picked up the habit. “Hey guys, this is so much cooler. Who needs underpants!”

    Just remember, you’re the one who brought this up…;-)

  37. Double-L
    November 17, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Ugh. More hot water for the head. ;-) Happy Happy Weekend! I’m off to listen to my new music courtesy of The 9513!

  38. Morgan Kiniry
    February 5, 2008 at 6:50 am

    I love RF!! They the BEST country group ever! I love their new album Still Feels Good its a really good album. I have all of their albums and their really good. Their songs are amazing cause they have so much meaning them. I don’t agree with the review cause I just don’t think its right. Im not a huge fan of country but when heard these guys they really blew me away. All of their songs really grab ur attention. Can’t wait to see them in concert!!!! Love u guys!! Keep up the hard work!

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