August 13, 2010
For five years and three albums, we’ve heard only a watered-down brand of Rascal Flatts: their signature tight harmonies have been masked by overblown production, and their typically well-crafted melodies have seemed stale. Their music as of late has generally lacked the spark that turned their early 2000s hits into gems.
Not so with “Why Wait,” a tasteful, vintage-Flatts track marked by an infectious rush of joy. By staying true to what it is –a slice of pop-country, nothing more, nothing less– the song gets everything right, from its effective, building melody to its surprisingly balanced arrangement (Dann Huff: is that you?). Gary LeVox does a particularly skillful job of following the emotional groove of the song, a welcome change from his usual tact of using vocal gymnastics to force emotion into a song.
And for all the untamed fervor that comes with convincing someone to elope, there’s some real meat behind the sentiment of “Why Wait”: “Love don’t need a reason/Baby I don’t see how I could love you any more than I do today/So why wait?” That’s not irrational fluff; that’s honesty, and LeVox sells it with exhilarating conviction.
My favorite thing about the Flatts boys has always been their shameless pride in their artistry. They own it. They embrace it. They enjoy it. And when they’re able to pair that kind of genuineness with a quality record, the result is wholly rewarding.
Written by Neil Thrasher, Tom Shapiro & Jimmy Yeary
Listen: Why Wait