Changed

Studio Album by released in 2012

Changed review

Are Rascal Flatts changed?

What is a listener who does not know ой Rascal Flatts supposed to think looking at the cover of their new album Changed? It features three seemingly young men, who must be playing pop music and must have made it to a big scene after a triumphant participation in a young talent show. This is as far from the truth as it can be. Rascal Flatts released their first album, over ten years ago and their genre is country, albeit delivered in a fashionably trimmed manner, aimed at the today audience. Changed is a title that gives you a tip that you should be expecting some changes on the American band’s new record. Before they went to the studio to start working on this CD, the members of Rascal Flatts said that they had reconsidered some aspects of their approach and decided to make a big step forward. Now is the time for listeners to see how real these intentions were.

Less instruments and more feelings

Probably, this is Changes, the title song, that was made to demonstrate how serious Rascal Flatts were speaking about doing something new. As a matter of fact, this one does not fit the classic Rascal Flatts stylistic framework. With stripped arrangements, plain instrumentation and rather calm singing, this track must attach our attention to the lyrics and emotions in it. The ballad is followed by an emphatic hit called Banjo, executed in the recognizable Rascal Flatts manner. Banjo forms a whole with electric guitars and powerful rhythm section to produce a deep impression on practically anyone who can try it. Does this not mean that the band’s experiments were enough for just one song? Actually, Banjo is one of the ultimate minority because the largest part of the set is dedicated to heartbreaks and heartaches. Whether it is a moving and even gloomy slow piece titled Sunrise or an upbeat highlight called She’s Leaving, Rascal Flatts put every bit of themselves in beautiful lines about strongest feelings people can have.

Progress that can’t be overlooked

You can see how much Rascal Flatts have matured by looking at their elaborated texts. The abovementioned Sunrise is a tale of a man who loves a woman suffering a very difficult breakup. This is enough to see that Changed is far from following the pop-music direction. Besides, the musicians demonstrate an even greater confidence. All the three do an amazing job in choruses. Their harmonies in Hurry Home turn what could be an average song into a very sweet and touching performance. Guitar solos have become more interesting when you hear them in ballads so richly offered on this album. One of them, Let It Hurt, is a sensational experience brought by an exquisite piano play. The new thing which might take a while to get used to, or may even displease somebody is too much use of particular lines repeated over and over, which makes truly nice tracks similar to pop-music one-day efforts. Apart from that, Changes deserves all the praise and credit and leaves space for hope that Rascal Flatts will keep surprising us on and on.