Single Review: Rascal Flatts featuring Natasha Bedingfield, “Easy”

You can go ahead and shoot me if you want to, but I actually kind of like this one.

For once, I don’t mind that the Flatts are overdramatizing things the way they always do (nor the fact that there’s absolutely nothing country-sounding about it), since it seems to be more or less in character with the song.  The lyrics are simple, but effective at telling the story of two ex-lovers who are in denial of the strong feelings they still harbor for one another.  Nathasha Bedingfield’s presence turns out to be a worthwhile addition to the song, giving the story an extra layer.  We find out that, as this brokenhearted man is trying desperately to conceal his true feelings from his former flame, she is likewise trying to conceal similar feelings from him.  The British Adult Contemporary star has a unique voice, and she adds a special touch to the song that makes it more interesting.

As the song nears its end, things really do get over-the-top, right down to the signature overdramatic guitar solo (After all, this is still a Rascal Flatts song).  But it mercifully doesn’t approach the sheer self-indulgent mediocrity of past artistic flops like “Here Comes Goodbye.”

A little restraint could have improved it.  But overall I like this Rascal Flatts power ballad about as much as I could possibly like a Rascal Flatts power ballad.  Anyway… into the guilty pleasure playlist it goes.

Written by Katrina Elam and Mike Mobley

Grade:  B

Listen: Easy

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20 Comments

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20 Responses to Single Review: Rascal Flatts featuring Natasha Bedingfield, “Easy”

  1. KeithNo Gravatar

    Haha, I feel the same way. I actually like Rascal Flatts early on, but I feel like they’ve gotten lazy after their early successes. This, however, is pretty decent.

  2. Can’t say I liked this one. I thought the vocals were screechy and didn’t show off any of the good qualities in Natasha Bettingfield’s voice she’s shown on her solo work.

    After loving “I Won’t Let Go,” “Easy” is a huge disapointment for me. But I dislike more Rascal Flatts songs than I like, so I can’t say I’m surprised.

  3. KarlyNo Gravatar

    I don’t know why people have to rag on Rascal Flatts all the time.
    Sure, they’ve had some duds, but they’ve released lots of great songs that speak to the heart and emotions of people, just as country music should.
    I know a lot of people don’t care for their power-ballad style, but every artist should have something that makes them unique & obviously it works extremely well for Rascal Flatts.

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” as the old saying goes.
    I think they make the music they want to, and it took a long time for them to get there. Jay & Joe Don didn’t even get to play their own instruments until “Me And My Gang.”
    They don’t always chose the best singles, but if you listen to their album tracks there’s plenty of quality material.
    Just because the general public thinks they know who they are as a band doesn’t mean it’s a correct assumption.
    Do some digging before you criticize.

    I think a big part of their quality slump was due to the awful single choices made by Lyric Street & the subpar videos. They didn’t promote the album as they should have.

    They have been much stronger this era, and I think both the video and single choices have been excellent. “Easy” is a well-written ballad & Natasha is a great addition to the song.
    The urgency and sad tone in the song match the over- the-top vocals and production to my ears.

    The video was incredibly well done too- the treatment is different from anything they’ve done before, but effective.
    I jut hope radio jumps on board with this- I’m scared they won’t because country programmers and country fans probably have no idea who Natasha is, which could translate into hesitation for some. It’s a great song with an equally great performance by Gary and Natasha- I’d hate to see this flop.

  4. Mike J.No Gravatar

    More like, “If it ain’t fixed, do somethin’ to fix the fact it’s broken.”

    Nobody can tell me this song would have made it on their first 2 CDs. Had it made it, it would’ve been an easy skip-over. If this is pushing the envelope, I’m glad the post office is rejecting my mail on future Saturdays.

    They are capable of much, much better, and this song does absolutely nothing for me. Sorry if that’s harsh.

  5. GloriaNo Gravatar

    The mistake I made was hearing them sing live. That did it for me on ever liking anything RFs does. His voice grates on me. I cannot listen to a whole CD of Gary LeVox’s voice and especially live when Jay & Joe Don try to harmonize. Now days just about anybody can sing on a recording, but it’s how they sound and perform live that does it for me and RFs does nothing for me. To me, they will never be fixable!

  6. JustinNo Gravatar

    I liked this better when I saw them live a few weeks ago, and Sara Evans sang Natasha’s parts. I still like the recording well enough, but much better live.

  7. KarlyNo Gravatar

    “The mistake I made was hearing them sing live. That did it for me on ever liking anything RFs does. His voice grates on me. I cannot listen to a whole CD of Gary LeVox’s voice and especially live when Jay & Joe Don try to harmonize. Now days just about anybody can sing on a recording, but it’s how they sound and perform live that does it for me and RFs does nothing for me. To me, they will never be fixable!”

    Gloria,
    Why do you make the same comment on EVERY Rascal Flatts review? Must be exhausting to be so negative.

  8. I’d be surprised to see this one flop, since that so rarely happens to Rascal Flatts. I wouldn’t expect Natasha’s contribution to have any negative repercussions on the song’s chart prospects.

    I enjoyed the video to some degree, but didn’t get why they decided to make it a Cinderella story at the very end. That didn’t make sense to me, and it doesn’t seem to fit the context of the lyrics.

  9. JoeNo Gravatar

    Once again, the overproduction killed this one for me, which is a shame because I actually think there’s a good song and performance hiding underneath (and I am not a big Flatts fan.) I could definitely see it growing on me though as a guilty pleasure.

  10. CarsonNo Gravatar

    Stop listening to their new stuff after they dueted with Justin Bieber.

  11. KarlyNo Gravatar

    Justin was the one who asked them to duet with him. His Mom is fan of theirs.

  12. Bieber – stopped reading as soon as I saw that name. Can you say male version of a Brittney Spears train-wreck. I give it 3 years, maybe 5.

  13. KarlyNo Gravatar

    I promise to back off the topic after I say this, but anyone who says they “stopped listening to x artist” because of something they recorded wasn’t a fan in the first place.
    I can understand not liking one thing an artist records, but if you’re willing to stop listening to an artist altogether because of one song it probably wasn’t much of a loss to you anyway.

  14. Erik NorthNo Gravatar

    Like a lot of country acts of recent times, Rascal Flatts seem to be doing this for adult contemporary crossover appeal. This, however, (and I’ve mentioned it a number of times before here) is a dangerous thing, because the A.C. audience doesn’t have the same kind of loyalty to country music as a whole like they do to certain country acts (Carrie Underwood; LeAnn Rimes, etc.).

    Whether they can change anyone’s mind with this collaboration with Natasha remains to be seen. And as Karly mentions, the real problem may be as to whether either country radio programmers or country music fans know who Natasha is, and whether her presence will be accepted by them.

    With respect to the song–it’s substantially better than most of the stuff they’ve done. I doubt, however, that it’ll change anybody’s mind, pro or con, and I’m on the “con” side.

  15. CarsonNo Gravatar

    Karly, I wasn’t saying I stopped listening to Rascal Flatts altogether. I still am a big fan of their “Feels Like Today” and “Me & My Gang” records. I love “Mayberry” and “These Days”, they’re country classics in my eye. Hell, last October I went to see Kellie Pickler open for them and enjoyed their show.

    I did say I stopped listening to their new stuff because of the direction their going with dueting with someone like Justin Bieber. People point fingers at Taylor Swift for her various pop duets. Their new songs don’t interest me, that’s all. Just because I don’t like the direction they have been taking with their new stuff and won’t be in line to buy their new CD doesn’t mean I am not a fan and doesn’t make me any less of a fan than I was when I first heard them.

    I actually heard the song on the radio today and liked the way their voices worked together. I think Natasha worked well, but I’m surprised they didn’t take a Shania Twain “Party For Two” approach and use a country singer for the country format and go for adult contemporary with Bedingfield.

  16. JayJayNo Gravatar

    Very well written review!

    I’m pretty neutral on Racal Flatts. I generally find them non-offensive when one of their songs come on the radio at work (with the exception of “Life Is A Highway” which is just excruciating)- but I don’t own any of their stuff or give them much thought otherwise.

    That said- I really love “Easy”. Radio here hasn’t picked it up yet (odd because I live in a major country market), but it deserves to do well. For me the appeal of the track lies squarely in NB’s gorgeous vocal. I especially appreciate that- despite escalated bombast near the end- she resists getting in to a yelling match with Gary.
    Really, I’d love a version with her doing this solo.

    Anyway- I don’t think song will change lives or reset musical precidents…but I dig it…and it’s nice to have SOMETHING I like after what seems to be a particularly weak summer music season.

  17. Thanks, JayJay. Glad you enjoyed it.

  18. deniseNo Gravatar

    love, love, love this! you can feel the emotion and i can relate to the message of putting on the fake smile to hide the pain so well.

  19. This unlikely collaboration didn’t prove to be too much of a failure- in fact, the song gels a good tune with simple lyrics to produce this heartfelt emotional song. Rascal Flatts has always been producing good tunes, after being signed on to two record companies, Lyric Street and Big Machine, they have since charted within the top 20 or higher on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including eleven number ones.

  20. KarlyNo Gravatar

    “Easy” debuted at #29 on Bilboard’s Adult Contemporary charts last week.

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