Review: Rascal Flatts, “Here Comes Goodbye”

rfRascal 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.

Grade: C

Written by Clint Lagerberg and Chris Sligh

Listen: Here Comes Goodbye


  1. Dang, based on the first verse and chorus I thought I might like this one alright. I don’t even think his voice sounds that bad here – it’s just that “here comes goodbye” isn’t the kind of line that makes emotional sense to be belting out at full force. It’s so, so over-the-top.

    Also, the fact that Chris Sligh (who I don’t think has ever in his life pretended he has any connection to country music whatsoever) got a Rascal Flatts cut on this says a lot about how out-of-hand this “country is all relative” crap has gotten. Sligh is good at this kind of writing, but I don’t want to hear it on country radio. Ever.

    I say “D.”

  2. I have to say, I like this one some, but maybe it’s just because compared to “Bob That Head” this is a masterpiece… I’ve only heard this song one time though.

  3. I actually do like this song. Yes, it’s MOR AC, but I like the vibe of it. I don’t feel like Gary is as over the top with it as he has been with other stuff lately, but maybe it’s me.

  4. I am no fan of this sappy power country love ballad stuff.
    But I heard the intro to this song, and it was terrific. Unfortunately, it all really
    goes downhill after that.

    In fact, I’d give high marks to whoever wrote the lyrics for the intro verse.
    The way he describes hearing his girlfriend drive up over the gravel, but slower than usual,
    and then the way she doesn’t walk right in, but rings the bell instead — that’s elegant, subtle, poetic stuff. It is
    very poignant to express an impending breakup with a lover through
    the little indirect ways we sense that something is wrong.

    But after that, it disintegrates into the sappy formulaic stuff that is making
    Rascal Flatts rich. It’s no better than a Barry Manilow song as it lays on the crescendo
    and the hype. And to retrench to the opening piano bit for the ending… OH BROTHER!
    Can’t they think of something else to do?

  5. Rascal Flatts does it again. For most of you, that means they made a trainwreck. For me, it means they’ve released another song I love. I love the emotion in the money note at the beginning of the guitar solo.

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