Over the course of their decade-plus career, Rascal Flatts has enjoyed hits with uptempo fare such as "This Everyday Love" and "Summer Nights," but they also have had quite the success with deep ballads such as "What Hurts The Most," and "These Days." However, the latest release from the Big Machine recording artists might very well be the most powerful single they have released yet -- the title cut from "Changed," their latest disc.
The hopeful ballad has made a mark on their fans since the album's release last April and currently sits at No. 29 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Lead singer Gary LeVox -- who co-wrote the song -- says it has become a highlight of their concert performances, as well.
"It's so amazing," he tells Billboard. "Every night, I look so forward to that part of the show. You see grown men and young kids crying at the power of music and what it does to people is absolutely phenomenal. I am so blessed to have a platform to stand there, and not just see it, but to see what music does to people and their hearts."
The song had a very inspirational start, LeVox stated.
"Neil Thrasher came out to my ranch, and we have written a lot of stuff together, like 'Fast Cars And Freedom' and 'I Melt.' He had just came back from vacation, and he had the first four lines. His daughter asked to be baptized in the ocean while they were on vacation. They were standing on the beach, and with all the waves coming in, he couldn't hear what the pastor was saying. He could just read his lips while the sun was setting. He takes her out of the water, and he raises her hand. So, he had the lines 'I came up out of the water, raised my hands up to the father, gave it all to him that day, and felt a new wind kiss my face.' That's where the song started – with the first four lines, and the melody," LeVox says, while also crediting Wendell Mobley as a writer on the song. "So, we sat down and wrote that song. It's one of those moments that we felt like we just held the pen, God did all the work. It's such a song of hope, and as a songwriter, it's the proudest thing I've ever been a part of."
After playing the song for fellow members Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney, LeVox felt they had something special. "You could tell by the look on their face. It was such a song of hope, and in this day and age of everything being so hard as it is, we just felt like that when you listen to music, that 3:30 should be a little bit of a break for everybody in life. It not only told my story, and Neil's story, but a lot of stories -- just that you can change, and it's never too late to tell somebody you're sorry. Most of the time, it's our foolish pride that gets in the way, and pride is a detriment to the soul. I just hope that every ear that hears it gets changed in some way."
Though some might consider the song a risk, LeVox feels it would have been riskier not to release it. "Big Machine, our label, our management, and we all thought it was the most powerful song on the entire album, and what a shame it would be to not put it out. We just wanted everyone to hear it," he said.
Regardless of chart position, the song has made an undeniable impact. "We got an email the other day from a guy who was contemplating suicide. He was driving down the road, and pulled over to the side of the road. He knew at that moment, after listening to the song, he was going to change for the better. The power of a song -- to have that impact on someone that is thinking about ending their own life is really unbelievable, it truly is."
The song is also touching other formats, as well, as the group is also promoting it to Christian radio, as well. "That was a big thing for us. We really wanted to take the song everywhere. We brought all the Christian promo people and PD's out, and talked to them and gave them our testimony and where the song came from. We really want to work it there, country, AC, and Hot AC. It's a song that is timeless."
- The 615