Rascal Flatts' 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks
They have been placing singles on the Billboard Country Singles chart since 2000, and there seems to be no slowdown in sight for Rascal Flatts. Their latest, “Yours If You Want It,” became shot to the top ten, paving the way for a No. 2 debut for their latest Big Machine project, Back To Us.
Along the way, they have developed quite the reputation for two qualities in their music – airtight harmonies and a uncanny knack for picking songs that speak to their fans. Whether it be romance, heartbreak, or regret, the trio of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney have covered every emotion possible during their seventeen-year run on the chart. A look back at ten of the most essential Rascal Flatts songs in their catalog reflects this….and a lot more!
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10. Rascal Flatts - “Mayberry”
One of the more traditional sounding hits from the Flatts catalog, this ode to a slower pace of life became their second number one single in the spring of 2004. Known for their more Pop sounding material, this one featured a banjo in prominent fashion, making for a change of pace single selection that remains a “Go-To” moment live in concert.
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9. Rascal Flatts - “I Like The Sound of That”
It had been a few years since the band had released a number one hit, and this 2015 chart-topper was proof that the band still had that magic ingredient to make a song special. In a period where they were often cited as an influence by new acts such as Dan + Shay (that duo’s Shay Mooney was actually a co-writer on this one, along with Pop songstress Meghan Trainor), this was proof that the Rascal Flatts sound was still very much bankable – a decade and a half after their first hit!
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8. Rascal Flatts - “Prayin’ For Daylight”
On their very first hit from 2000, the formula for what makes Rascal Flatts special was very much in place. The harmonies were out-of-this-world on this top-five smash, The chorus proved to be the first example of what the band was about, with its’ pulsating rhythmic approach, but what also helped to set this song apart from the pack was their cold, acapella opening. You knew that something special was about to happen, and indeed it did!
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7. Rascal Flatts - “Fast Cars and Freedom”
While their career has been paced by some of the biggest ballads of the past two decades, Rascal Flatts can turn up the tempo better than anyone. Proof of that came with this 2005 rocker that jumped off of the radio airwaves to set their fans toes tapping. A dozen years later, the song has lost none of that appeal!
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6. Rascal Flatts - “Take Me There”
Just as Rascal Flatts have demonstrated an acumen for picking hit material over the years, the same could be said for Kenny Chesney, who co-wrote this entry into the Flatts stratosphere from 2007. The song became one of their most meaningful love songs, going on to become another popular wedding tune in the process.
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5. Rascal Flatts - "Changed"
The band took a detour from their usual kind of song in 2012-2013 to release this Christian-themed ballad about shedding the demons of the past for a brighter path. The inspirational lyrics helped to make this a hit in both country and Christian circles, while still having the wide-open melody and harmonies that are trademarks of the Rascal Flatts sound.
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4. Rascal Flatts - “What Hurts The Most”
It goes without saying that Jeffrey Steele is one of the top tunesmiths in Nashville, and this composition with Steve Robson gave the band a chance to really sink their teeth into a ballad full of anguish and regret. Gary LeVox’s soaring vocals on this one contributed to a No. 6 ranking on the Hot 100 in addition to the track topping the Country chart – their highest placement on that listing.
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3. Rascal Flatts - “Bless The Broken Road”
Sometimes, a song just needs to find its’ proper home. Both the writers – Marcus Hummon and Jeff Hanna – had recorded the song previously (Hummon on a solo album, and Hanna with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). The song then was covered by Melodie Crittenden, who took it to No. 42 in 1998. But, it would take a few years later for the song of romantic re-invention to truly find its’ audience. Once Rascal Flatts released the song in the fall of 2004, school was out. The song became a No. 1 one hit on the Country charts, and earned the writers a Grammy – all for a song that they had likely written off. Of all Rascal Flatts songs, this one has had the biggest life at weddings over the years, becoming a matrimonial classic.
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2. Rascal Flatts - “These Days”
While preparing their follow-up to their debut album, the band was looking for a home run to kick off the set. They found it with this track from the Jeffrey Steele / Danny Wells / Steve Robson well, about a man’s chance encounter with a lost love and the effect that she still has on him after all the time that had passed. Just a few days after Thanksgiving Day in 2002, this song became the first Rascal Flatts song to hit the No. 1 one position on the charts.
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1. Rascal Flatts - “I’m Movin’ On”
The band was set to move on from their Lyric Street debut album after three straight hits to kick off their career, and then fate stepped in – as the form of Nashville morning disc jockey Gerry House, who featured the Phillip White / D. Vincent Williams composition on his show. The attention the song received caused the label to re-think their decision and release the song, which took a painful situation (never stating what exactly it was) and turned it into a moment of reflection, vowing to make something positive of the moment while leaving it behind. Over the years, fans have related stories to the band on how the song has touched them, whether going through a break-up, or a battle with addiction.
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