Life as We Know It
With original lead singer Richie McDonald back with Lonestar after a brief solo career in Christian music, this country-pop-rock group is equipped to celebrate its 20th anniversary as a band. Life As We Know It is a loud and proud album of country-based music being played as rock. Or is that rock-based music played as country? The point is, Lonestar isn't afraid of loud, distorted guitars or aggressive rock beats when the song is "How Can She Be Everywhere," while it's also not hesitant to namedrop Ashton Kutcher. Lonestar's optimism is contagious, and the Eagles-like "Pretty Good Day" is closer to country, bringing rich pedal steel guitar to a sound that's pure sunshine. "Party All Day" embodies the "it's 5 o'clock somewhere" message that people who work hard are people who party even harder. If "Just the Rain" adds a shade of grey, it's just for contrast, for there's always an "Oh Yeah" coming up next.