Still Feels Good
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Still Feels Good (International Version)
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It all begins when the lights go down. For Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus, it has been that way since they were playing for a handful of people in a club in Nashville's Printers Alley. These days, of course, they play for thousands of screaming fans a night, drawn by state-of-the-art production and sound, and by spectacular vocal harmonies in service to an ever-expanding catalogue of hits. In between, it was the magic of those performances that catapulted Rascal Flatts into the front ranks of entertainers in all genres.
By any measure, Rascal Flatts is in elite territory. They are the reigning 2006 CMA, ACM and CMT Vocal Group of the Year. In 2005 they added Billboard and R&R Artist of the Year trophies as well. The trio also picked up its first three Grammy nominations in 2005, and their "Bless The Broken Road" received the Grammy for Country Song of the Year. Coming off the biggest selling artist album of 2006, Rascal Flatts is geared up for their brand new album coming on September 25.
Rascal Flatts has always been an anomaly in country music. Signed to the Disney label Lyric Street, they arrived in 2000 as essentially a trio (winning lead vocalist Gary LeVox fronted pin-up boy Joe Don Rooney on electric guitar and Jay DeMarcus on bass) that traveled and recorded with additional musicians to make up a full band. Despite their workingman backgrounds, their repertoire was so pop-oriented that hardly anyone could really call them country, and the group bristled at being dubbed Nashville's Boy Band. Yet while they were primarily marketed to teens (the young set screams their lungs out in concert), a lot of adults found their bouncy, bubbly radio tunes irresistible. And in 2006, when they released their fourth album, the quadruple-platinum Me and My Gang, they sold more than 700,000 records the first week, ending up as the best-selling artists of the year across all genres. Now comes the follow-up, and with the group sharing production credit with hit-meister Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Faith Hill), they turned out an extremely well-built album of heavily layered, grown-up pop. (The one country-ish song, "Bob that Head," about the joys of Friday night cruising in a tricked-out truck, almost amounts to a rap.) DeMarcus has said that the band took its time making the record, and it shows--everything about it telegraphs a growing maturity. Not only do Rooney and DeMarcus play on every cut (which they didn't do until Me and My Gang), but the trio has a hand in writing much of the material that doesn't come from the pens of Nashville's most reliable songsmiths (Jeffrey Steele, Neil Thrasher, Steve Robson, Hillary Lindsey, and headliner Kenny Chesney on "Take Me There"). It all goes down quite smoothly, from the sexy title track to the pain ballad "Better Now," to the (too-obvious) social commentary of "It's Not Supposed to Go Like That." As a measure of that, even actor/singer Jamie Foxx's guest appearance on the silky "She Goes All the Way" blends seamlessly with the rest of the material, much of it crafted to manipulate the emotions with power choruses, stinging electric guitar solos, and throbbing drums. But unlike the Rascals' other albums, there aren't many story songs here. And though LeVox's hangdog tenor hammers home the devastating ache of failed relationships ("Help Me Remember"), there's no standout tune like "What Hurts the Most," and not a lot of this sticks in your head after it's gone. Yes, as the title promises, it "Still Feels Good," but only for a little while. -Alanna Nash
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AS their are with almost everything in the world today, their are mixed opinions about this album. Some say it still feels good, and some say it doesn't. I'm not one of those fans that say that everything a band puts out is gold, and I am going to take the time today to give you the ins and outs of this album.
If you have the time, read this review.
01 - Take Me There
The album starts out with a somewhat softer side, which is unique for the guys. Of course, if you've kept up with the Flatts, you already know this is the 1st single from the album.
Lyrically: I myself find this track some what unique. Why? As many love tracks in the country genre are about love, this one in particular isn't from the standpoint of a young person, just getting out of high school. This track talks about one who has already started living life in the real world.
Musically: This track could be classified as in the standard musical box. The track is in the Key of E, and doesn't bring me any musical surprises.
02 - Here
Another softer track, instrumentally: giving more of a country feel then the first.
Lyrically: This is the second track giving positive relational experience.
Musically: Track is in the key of A. The E F Sharp, d, a, C Sharp, F Sharp, chorus gives the track a happy on cloud9 feeling.
This track also, could be classified as in the box musically. But it's not as standard as some.
03 - Bob That Head
The song starts out with a e/fmajor three part vocal harmony, so when it moved to key of D I was pleasantly surprised.
This track some what reminds me of a some what slower Me And My Gang Musically, of course, MAMG is in D to.
Lyrically: pretty cool, and not just another love track. Cool truc if you'd ask me.
Musically: I know I've covered a lot of this already: it's another slow track. Sure still in the box, but that E/F harmony is tight.
04 - Help Me Remember
Track four starts the sad, then happy love song sequence. Pretty much for the rest of the album it's one song about how love when wrong, then one about how everything "Still Feels Good"
Musically: song is in key of a, but vocally it's some what unique in the verses. It's another slow track. I was though, pleasantly surprised after the soft ver of the chorus the vocs go up to a high E where it was an octave lower before. Interesting guitar solo at end of track, a little too jumpy for my tastes.
Lyrically: a love track where everything went wrong, and all that's left is the memories.
05 - Still Feels Good
Finally! picking up the pace a bit!
Musically: in key of b, and the track opens with a high 3-4 part wooo vocal harmony.
Lyrically: a happy love track about a couple where stuff is actually working out.
06 - Winner At A Losing Game
filler track. Another slow track. Depends on the mood I'm in when listening, some times drags a little much for me.
Musically: really in the musical box! in key of g, very country feeling
lyrically: depressed winner at a losers love game.
07 - No Reins
filler track. Picking up the pace for the second time, I think it's going to be another happy love track.
musically: in key of e, once again in the box. Got a very eighties feeling sound, Deff Leopard could have done this track.
lyrically: some what happy, but a girl gives up on love to find herself.
08 - Every Day
One of my favorite tracks on the disk/digital files, what ever you've got.
musically: medium track in key of G Sharp. Yep, inside that musical box.
lyrically: can't tell if he's singing about the Lord or a girl. All and all, a very positive track that some could classify as Christian. Good vocs!
09 - Secret Smile
Hmmmm, can't decide, this may be my favorite track.
Some what fast paced good feeling track!
Musically: COMING OUT OF THE BOX! in the prechorus. It sounds like Dave Matthews could have had influence in this track. Track is in key of a.
lyrically: this is where the track gets good, who ever wrote this track really new how to craft lyrics.
10 - Better Now
Another great track!
musically: some what slow. I thought, on the first time of hearing this track, another in the box track, with its f sharp, e, d, b intro. A PLESENT SURPRISE hit me in the verse when f sharp, e, c sharp, f sharp, e, b,.
lyrically: great harmony's, good lyrics especially 1st verse. "If I had one call to make, I would dial yesterday and worn myself". That's unique!
Another sad love track
11 - She Goes All The Way
probably the most out of the box musical track that I've herd from these guys.
musically: key of E flat, but verses are jazzy sounding. I don't know who the other vocalist is but it gives it an RnB feel.
lyrically: it's more then sex or making love, it's going all the way. That's all I'll say about that.
12 - How Strong Are You Now
filler track. slow track of irony.
musically: key of e, in the box.
lyrically: a sad love track about someone who thinks it's ok but after she's gone, his heart hertz.
13 - its Not Supposed To Go Like That
filler track. slow, sad, depressing
I'm not a fan of these kind of tracks/lyrically
musically: key of g acoustic feeling In The Box
lyrically: kids killing kids, car accidents, good love gone into death. depressing
"Still Feels Good" rates right up there for with there other cds. I prefer "Melt" or "Feels Like Today". But you won't go wrong with this cd at all either as each track flows into the next (a good thing) it isnt always for other artists. But for Rascal Flatts it works out very well..especially enjoyed the last track "It's Not Supposed To Go Like That" a sad song but with some meaning behind it and should be listened to more than once.
"Still Feels Good"
1. She Goes All The Way
3. No Reins
4. Every Day
5. How Strong Are You Now
6. Winner At a Losing Game
1. Take Me There
2. Better Now
3. It's Not Supposed To Go Like That
4. Help Me Remember
5. Bob That Head
4.5 out of 5 stars (all gravy in my book)