The process of choosing a single for radio is often as arduous a task as writing the song. Each month, Sounds Like Nashville will feature a different artist and explore songs from his or her catalogue that we wish made it to radio. Make no mistake, this is no critique of the artist or label, it’s simply a list of songs we love so much that we think deserve to be in the spotlight. This month, we take a closer listen to Rascal Flatts’ back catalogue and find eight gems that warrant airplay.
“Long Slow Beautiful Dance”
Rascal Flatts released their debut album 16 years ago and this song is one of the more traditional country tracks featured on it. A tale of first meeting one’s other half and the life they soon build together, the power ballad includes solos from each member. Throughout “Long Slow Beautiful Dance,” the trio’s impeccable harmonies are highlighted alongside fiddle accompaniment that brings the sweet sentiment within the song to life.
“When the Sand Runs Out”
The country trio get introspective with the poignant “When the Sand Runs Out.” Penned by Brad Crisler and James LeBlanc, the song is written from the perspective of a man who watches his friend get buried. The man who passed spent his life working and never “took a chance or took the time to dance.” As a result, the song takes a turn with the main character deciding that he will live his life to the fullest, learn how to face his fears and love with all his heart. A reminder to live your life every day, “When the Sand Runs Out” leaves a lasting mark.
“Here’s To You”
A song Rascal Flatts play most nights in concert, it’s hard to believe “Here’s To You” was never a single. The song captures the spirit of a live show and the gratefulness the band has for their fans spending their hard-earned money to see them on tour. An ode to their diehard fans — the upbeat song is an anthem that has every concertgoer on his feet during the show.
“Words I Couldn’t Say”
Rascal Flatts strike a chord on this soaring heartbreaker. Gary LeVox’s emotional vocals tell the tale of regret as he portrays a man who couldn’t express his love for an ex. Looking back on the moment vividly, he struggles now that she’s gone. “Shoulda found a way to tell you how I felt / Now the only one I’m tellin’ is myself,” he laments. While LeVox’s voice impresses and Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus’ harmonies assist, so does the musical accompaniment. Moving string features, wavering pedal steel, striking piano and guitar parts only add to the emotion on the track.
“Still Feels Good”
Rascal Flatts are known for their ballads just as much as they are their upbeat songs and “Still Feels Good” is one of those rollicking songs that keeps the crowd singing along every night. Perfect in the live setting, “Still Feels Good” is a song that the listener can’t help but dance along to as the band’s harmonies and fast paced guitar and percussion keep those feet tapping.
“No Reins” is another one of Rascal Flatts’ classic empowerment anthems that has a girl breaking free from a good-for-nothing boyfriend. Now, she’s living her life on her own terms and the listener can’t help but to root for her.
Leave it to Rascal Flatts to turn a heartbreak song into a cheerful, guitar-driven barn burner. This is exactly what the trio accomplish on the fast-paced song “Close” which has a girl trying to move on from a relationship. In the meantime, she gets nostalgic listening to previous voicemails and wearing old t-shirts from her ex. “She’s still in hell but she tells herself she’s ready to let him go,” Rascal Flatts sing on the soaring chorus. An all too real sentiment, the band turns heartbreak into a danceable track.
“Let It Hurt”
This piano-based balled written by the Flatts’ DeMarcus, Gordie Sampson and Caitlyn Smith showcases the trio at their finest. A song that deals with the struggles one faces after a breakup, “Let It Hurt” urges those tortured with heartache to embrace it and not “fake another smile and just pretend.” Instead, let it hurt. “Sometimes the only way around it is to let love do its work and let it hurt,” they advise. A unique take on heartbreak, LeVox’s whispered vocals assisted by string accompaniment help get their point across.
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