Rascal Flatts

Melt – 2002 (Lyric Street)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

CDs by Rascal Flatts

The look is more cool, more hip, an aging Rascal Flatts where Joe Doon Rooney, Jay DeMarcus and Gary Levox shed the easy going, sweet persona from their debut.

But is the music much different from their first disc and hits like "Prayin' For Daylight," "This Everyday Love" and "I'm Movin' On"? Well, not exactly. What you get from these Ohio boys are catchy tunes (the lead off and current hit "These Days"), definitely in a country pop vein, but with enough fiddle or mandolin to at least arguably contend it's country music (though loud guitars don't help much) and very fine singing.

In fact, it is the singing that makes the album. Levox takes the lead and has a strong voice. With help from Rooney and DeMarcus, the vocals give almost every song an added push. This is particularly true on the uptempo songs ("Mayberry" and the cute "Dry County Girl") and the mid-tempo "I Melt."

The arrangements and production once again from Maty Williams and Mark Bright, but this time with help from the band is pretty predictably bright and nothing out of the ordinary. Rascal Flatts is very good at what they do, but certainly nothing exactly left of center or edgy. And after all, if it ain't broke...