One band. Ten albums. Sixteen Number One hits.
Over 23 million records and 10 million tickets sold.
With statistics like that, the numbers pile up so high it’s easy to get lost on top of the heap and forget why you wanted to be there in the first place. But not Rascal Flatts. Time and success have only put them closer to their core on Back to Us, their tenth LP that’s both a return to form and a proclamation of everything that this trio has come to represent over nearly two decades. And that’s expert musicianship, razor-sharp vocals and songs that have shaped lives, loves and the genre of country music itself. They’ve won over 40 awards, graced stages around the world and put time into charity organizations that have touched so many lives. But when it came to make their tenth album, they decided to focus on their roots, letting DeMarcus take the primary production reigns, anchored by Rooney’s world class guitar work. And not only did they pick the best songs and work with the best songwriters, they had a hand in writing many of the tracks themselves. That approach is just one of the reasons the music of Rascal Flatts has become a part of the story – those nuptials, graduations, family road trips – of so many.
Back to Us is loaded with those moments that will weave themselves forever into the fabric of the lives of their fans. “I Know You Won’t,” a gorgeous piano-based ballad whose intro conjures up John Lennon’s “Imagine,” is sure to become a timeless melody for anyone facing heartbreak – and a reminder of how LeVox’s voice is not only one of the best in the genre, but beyond. “Love What You’ve Done With the Place” could be a bride and groom’s first dance and “Dance,” the moment when they kick of the wedding shoes and get down. And the album’s gorgeous closing anthem, “Our Night To Shine,” with its spine-tingling chorus, could be as poignant at a prom or on the ear buds of someone out for a run or a job interview, proving that Rascal Flatts have a way of transcending generations like few others. Back To Us is the follow-up to Rewind, the band’s fourth album for Big Machine Records, which gave them their 15th and 16th No. 1 hits with the progressive title cut “Rewind” and the undeniably infectious “I like The Sound Of That.” With tracks produced by both Jay DeMarcus and Howard Benson, they pushed their music to innovative places under the leadership of Big Machine Records President/CEO Scott Borchetta.
Rascal Flatts is also proud of the charity work they have been able to engage in over the years, whether in supporting music education in public schools or raising almost $4 million for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt where the Rascal Flatts Pediatric Surgery Center was named in recognition of the trio’s long-standing involvement, which also includes an annual fundraising dinner. The trio’s most recent endeavor is working with the Make A Wish Foundation and NFL quarterback’s Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine” experience, which hosts proms around the world for special needs students. It’s something they look forward to doing as they support Back to Us, and even put a memento on the record itself: that striking chorus on “Our Night to Shine” features participants from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.
Seventeen years from where they began, it’s a sonically thrilling, heart-moving, genre-propelling proclamation that Rascal Flatts are here to stay. They may have mastered their art, but they’re still singing and playing with the same, immovable passion.