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CD Reviews:  Darius Rucker: Back To Then

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Known as the gruff-voiced lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, and probably the face most people associate with the band, this is Darius Rucker’s first solo album and a bit of a diversion from the alt-pop of Hootie. In fact, this collection is downright soulful and shows a side to Rucker that could sway even his harshest critics. But as much of the last few Hootie records were a bit monotonous, some of Back to Then sounds the same as everything else on it. 

“Wild One” kicks this CD off with a smooth R & B feel, complete with a thump-in-your-chest kick drum, swirling guitars and soft horns. “Exodus” and the title track are melancholy tracks that are expertly arranged by Rucker and his team of producers. 
“Sometimes I Wonder” pairs Rucker with Jill Scott and “Sleeping in My Bed” with Snoop Dogg, no doubt as an attempt to give Rucker’s music more radio cross-over appeal, but still adding some really cool effect. “This is My World” is a great make-out song and “I’m Glad You’re Mine” is a bluesy tune that proves Rucker still has one of the most underrated voices in the business. “Ten Years” and “Somewhere” are other standout tracks. 

Usually when a critic reviews a Hootie CD, it’s almost a sure 2-star deduction. I’m not one of those to go along with them, mainly because I respect Darius Rucker as a singer and songwriter. He’s earned that respect after the hits practically fell off of his band’s debut in 1994. Granted, this solo album won’t mesmerize you for its duration, fan or not, but taken for what it is, the pro songwriting and production shine through loud and clear. 

~Mike Farley : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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