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Nothing Like This by Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts’ latest is the group’s first for its new Big Machine label home, and the trio sounds re-energized throughout this 11-track release. “Easy,” a sizzling duet with pop singer Natasha Bedingfield, reveals the struggle between a man and woman to make it look so easy after a breakup. The first single, “Why Wait,” is a sprightly, up-tempo throwback to the trio’s early songs “Prayin’ for Daylight” and “This Everyday Love,” as is “All Night to Get There,” co-written by Jay DeMarcus.

Thankfully, the Flatts boys pull away from overblown power ballads, which weighed down their last few albums, in favor of exploring some new avenues. A gem here is the soulful “They Try,” which blends lyrics of long-lasting love with a groove that Billy Currington would be proud of. Even the trio’s requisite uplifting ballad, “I Won’t Let Go,” is nicely reserved, avoiding the either bombastic or syrupy tendencies of past ballads.

There are the expected overproduced arena-ready rockers (“Play,” “Tonight Tonight” and “Red Camaro”), but overall the Flatts boys haven’t sounded this good in a while.

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