Darius Rucker has an everyman’s voice that is tailor made for singalong choruses, which is one of the reasons those early Hootie singles were so infectious. It’s also one of the reasons his transition to country music has been so smooth. Unlike Jon Bon Jovi, who still sounds like a rocker, and Jewel, who still sounds like a coffeehouse folkie, Rucker’s vocals are more adaptable simply because they’re not as distinctive.
This isn’t a criticism of his singing. It’s a main selling point of it. “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” is as representative of contemporary country music as anything out there right now, and Rucker’s vocal on the track has as much to do with that as the song’s instrumentation. As he’s singing about savoring the moments of a young child’s development, he sounds just country enough to fit in on the radio dial between Alan Jackson and Keith Urban, without giving off the impression that he’s intentionally trying to fit in.
The end result is a pleasant single by a solid vocalist who has already picked up on the key lesson that many country singers never learn: don’t get in the way of the song. This allows the song itself to rise and fall on its own merits. As a sweeter spin on “You’re Gonna Miss This”, it has enough charm and attention to detail to make it a notch or two above the standard domestic mini-movie crowd of songs that have become their subgenre in modern country music.
Written by Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorey & Darius Rucker
Listen: It Won’t Be Like This For Long