January 24, 2009
Rascal Flatts begins the new year with another overwrought, regret-filled ballad that sounds like a Casey Kasem countdown dedication, a wimpy attempt at meaningfulness that will tug at the hearts of young women well into 2009.
“Here Comes Goodbye,” a copycat of their angst-ridden 2006 hit, ’What Hurts the Most,” asks the teen-fave trio to pump up the drama to almost dizzying heights. They certainly answer the call. “Here Comes Goodbye” explores the rich sorrow that settles in at the end of an ill-fated romance, tumbling into operatic tendencies towards its end.
Gary Levox gracefully handles the first minute of “Here Comes Goodbye,” but the sonic histrionics eventually overtake the breakup ballad. In the first chorus, the strings swell as if to spell the narrator’s impending pain, and the startling musical manuevers never cease from that point forward. As if following the powerful production’s lead, Levox’s unpleasant tone tears through the final 2/3 of the song, wiping away the subtle vocal strength that preceded it. His useless trills spill into a screaming-guitar bridge that signals to us that this, by God, is important stuff.
To the indoctrinated, born and bred on such cheesy pop, this will be seen as a life-changing anthem. Lyrical inconsistencies abound, but sentiment overwhelms good common sense here. “Here Comes Goodbye” is ready-made for AC radio, revealing that Rascal Flatts hasn’t bid farewell to their bread-and-butter theatrical urges.
Written by Clint Lagerberg and Chris Sligh
Listen: Here Comes Goodbye