Darius Rucker - When Was The Last Time Album Review

Story posted October 29, 2017 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Lauren Smith

Darius Rucker showcases his storytelling skills in his new album When Was the Last Time. Rucker takes his life lessons and turns them into catchy songs with his rugged, soulful twang sound. This is his fifth studio album since starting his post Hootie & the Blowfish solo career and Rucker has fit perfectly into the country music world.

Almost every track on the new album starts out with a strong ensemble of acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle, accompanied by crafty and creative lyrics. The first track on the album, “For the First Time,” is the answer to Rucker’s album title When Was the Last Time where he sings, “When was the last time/ You did something for the first time?” He took his album title to heart by documenting on social media things he was doing for the first time, like a yoga class, to promote his new album.

Rucker makes this album a little more unique than his past ones by making it sound more like a live album. All though the album isn't actually live, there are several songs on it where the singing is layered within the mix instead of on top of it.

Rucker is known for his songs to be full of love, heartbreak and life lessons, and the tracks on his new album don’t fall short to meeting those expectations. “Don’t,” a song Rucker released in the summer when he was announcing the due date of his new album, is a mid-tempo love song with an electric guitar arrangement, but mainly focuses on Rucker's vocals.

He gets his friends and fellow country singers Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Charles Kelley (lead singer of Lady Antebellum) to sing on “Straight to Hell,” a song that sounds like your grandfather telling you about his life when he was young. All the singers go back and forth singing verses in the song.

“If I Told You,” the first single off the album, became a number one hit for Rucker. He was looking to challenge himself and tried a new sound for this song that has now become one of his most popular hits. The perfect partner track to this song is “Twenty Something,” where Rucker gets to let the lyrics shine. The song tells a story about when you’re twenty something and poor, sleeping on couches and looking for love, trying to figure out the world and who you are. Fast forward and he talks about being thirty something and the new life changes that brings. He goes through the different age eras, finally ending at eighty something and how age is just a number when you still feel like you’re twenty something.

Rucker had huge success in Hootie & the Blowfish but has strayed away from his old alternative rock stylings to focus on country music and has fit in perfectly doing so. "This is country music and that is what I set out to do. I set out to make country records; I don't want to make pop records," Rucker said in a recent interview about his new album.

With one single off the album already becoming a number one hit for Rucker, this album is popular among people who want to hear traditional country songs and will surely bring Rucker a lot more top hits.

Rating: 7/10

 

Lauren Smith is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email lks5244@psu.edu.