You may remember Darius Rucker as the croony lead singer from one of the more lasting bands form the 90′s Hootie and The Blowfish. During that time, I was listening to the likes of “‘Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry,” and “I Only Wanna Be With You.” It’s not often that a band could come across and tug on the strings of random memories from my childhood, but Hootie certainly takes me back to a time when things were changing in my life at a fast pace, and I was learning about new music and stations aside from B94(If you haven’t heard of it, it’s on old Pittsburgh station, its back again, but certainly not the original).
Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and the likes of Tool, were winning my heart over as I was becoming a teenager and falling into the traps of teenage aggression. However, I always had a place in my heart for Hootie, because for some reason, Darius’s voice was just so damn awesome. He hit every note with what seemed like perfection, and never had to strain himself to reach an emotional level to grab the user and bring them to a whole new level.
Now after his first country album release “Back to Them,” which received very sub-par reviews. He comes back with a highly touted monster of a country album, “Learn to Live.” This album is full of emotional tracks, that seems to be written for anyone who has had a hard time in their life, whether it be a traumatic experience like in the song “I Hope They Get To Me in Time.” Or when a father looks ahead to the future or back in time depending on how you look at it in the song of “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.” There is at least one track for everyone on the entire cd, that is made for someone, if your in love with the current country situation that is played on the radio.
My only real gripe with this cd is that its mostly, written in a stereotypical format, as far as the typical country music banter goes, spirituality, life, death, love, and drinkin’. I do however, feel that Darius Rucker’s voice is not given enough justice. While most of the songs are typical with a country album, he has the voice to knock most of the songs out of the park even while singing about something that has been done a bajillion times.
So my final comments come down to this. If you loved Hootie and the Blowfish, and enjoy the music they wrote about. This album will never be that good. However, I urge you to give it a try if you are a country fan as it has many country music stars, making musical cameos, well produced songs, and a voice that just doesn’t give up. For the next review, be prepared. It’s going to be heavy.