Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts

There’s not a whole lot of rascality to be found on Rascal Flatt’s self-titled debut album. It’s likewise true that this 2000 release isn’t exactly flat either — there’s an effervescent energy here that’s positively infectious. Members Gary Levox, Jay DeMaracus and Joe Don Rooney recall Poco, the (early) Eagles and other ‘70s country-rock combos in their seamless harmonizing. The Southern-accented shuffle of “Prayin’ For Daylight” and the steady rock tempo of “Waiting All My Life” lay down a strong rhythmic pulse behind the trio’s vocal interweavings. Lyrically, Rascal Flatts explores the joys and sorrows of the modern-day Middle American while betraying an old-fashioned sentimental streak. “This Everyday Love” celebrates family ties, “Long Slow Beautiful Dance” recaptures the hopes of budding romance and “One Good Love” catches the longing for the elusive Ms. Right. The most affecting track is “I’m Moving On,” a sparsely-arranged post-breakup ballad. At its best, the album has the easy-going, warm-hearted mood of a living room jam session. Overall, Rascal Flatts offers top-grade country-pop with wholesome flair.

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