One day a few months ago, I was talking to my best friend about some relationship issue and she decided to give me a song that to her described what I was going through. This song was What Hurts the Most. I listened and enjoyed the lyrics, but quickly wrote it off. Country music has never been my style, I'm a pop punk kind of kid. Yeah, I grew up in the sticks and my parents flooded my brain with George Jones and Dolly Parton, but I decided at ten to start listening to Simple Plan and that's the genre I stuck to.
However, a few months down the road I decided I liked What Hurts The Most. Gary LeVox's twangy back-to-hangin'-out-on-the-farm sort of vocal style had grown on me. The lyrics and violins melted my heart. I was enjoying this emotional ballad. So this brought me to downloading Rascal Flatt's 2006 album, Me and My Gang. I suppose I've always had country as a guilty pleasure, and hell I love the Jonas Brothers, why not Rascal Flatts too?
Me and my Gang starts off with Stand, a song the builds up and speaks of hope in a tough situation. It's a mellow opener for this album, but it is a good foreshadow of what is to come on this record. What Hurts the Most, as I previously stated is an emotional ballad, a cover that has been done in many ways, even dance. This style Rascal Flatts bring forth though, fits best. The sweeping violins and crashing cymbals that bring back the last rendition of the chorus all bring you back to when you heard that Nickelback song at your first junior high dance. Although Rascal Flatts are a country band, which is clear with the mandolin, banjo and vocals, they also have that mainstream appeal to anyone.
Backwards is a good example of what makes Rascal Flatts exclusive to CMT, and not Much or MTV. If you're a frequent country listener this song will make you chuckle. It talks about all the things you would get back if you play a country song backwards. I smiled when I first heard this song, because it's making fun of the typical country song, but it does it with pleasure and is all around enjoyable. It's an up-tempo number that will have you dreaming of an old country festival with your foot tapping on a wooden board and some gentleman with spoons tapping off his knee and a big grin on his face.
Another track that really stood out was To Make Her Love Me. It talks of a woman leaving him, and asking whatever higher source there may or may not be above us to please make her love him. With lyrics that would make tears come to your eyes: 'You've made the heavens and the stars/everything/c'mon how hard could it be/to make her love me?' The melody brings forth a desperation, and the harmonies only add to the butterflies fluttering around in your stomach. There's a solid guitar solo present in this song that drags out the pleading.
So, if you're a country listener, or even if you're not, this album could appeal to you. If it's ballads that rage like a thunderstorm, or fun, modern country you're looking for, this album could appeal to you. If you're just looking for a good song to cry over the loss of a recent relationship, this album could appeal to you. If you're looking for something original, fresh or heavy, this album may not appeal to you. Rascal Flatts have taken the modern country scene over, whether you're okay with that or not, this album will give you the answer.