Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts – 2000 (Lyric Street)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

CDs by Rascal Flatts

Part of the new breed of fresh-scrubbed country groups like South Sixty-Five and The Wilkinsons, this trio lie somewhere far below the pop-country of Lonestar and the classic vocal bands like Alabama and Restless Heart.

The album's first single, "Prayin' For Daylight," neatly encapsulates the band's modus operandi. Stack the harmonies on the chorus, find a lyric that addresses a romantic relationship and process it through the blandest, most inoffensive studio musicianship possible. Not that love songs are a bad thing, but this album is nothing but trite, over-emoted soliloquies on various tired clich+s that bring nothing new to the table. Even the group's much-lauded vocal abilities are a dime a dozen these days, with Yankee Grey coming immediately to mind as another personality-deficient example.Touted by some as the next Alabama, Rascal Flatts are nowhere near the perfect country pop of that band's first few records. The closest they'll get to that state is driving through it on the highway.