|Come hither. Moody. Smoldering. Cock your pinkie. Forget the camera’s there. Or not.|
Rascal Flatts are known for making crisp, impeccably arranged country pop songs of a squeaky clean nature. The trio can play and can sing. They are consummate musicians. Every now and then a song of theirs will hit every single target on a made-for-radio cheat sheet: melody, lyric, composition, emotion, catchiness, punching the money notes, and their secret weapon: Gary Le Vox’s ability to skewer the sweet note right in the gonads at just the right moment so that it rings in your ears and brain like a temple bell. These are not notes a normal mortal person can hit; nor are they merely notes on a scale. They are the note plus the right timbre. What Rascal Flatts doesn’t need is studio tweaking (even though their recordings sound as polished as glass).
And yet someone thinks that what the group lacks in musical polish they need to make up for in visual buffing. Case in point: the liner notes for Rewind.
|We’re just casually sitting here, legs akimbo, pondering this shotoshoot.|
The album is liberally decorated with artfully arranged shots of all three men assuming poses that would not be out of place in a 1970s swimwear catalogue. If there’s a chummy male smoldering look they haven’t gone for, it doesn’t exist.
|Three beefcheeses on a leather sofa on a riser just hanging out the way men do.|
Dudes don’t usually adopt these stances, and when they do — on a dare, say — and the results captured on camera and then shown to other people, they die of embarrassment. Gary, Joe Don and Jay all vie for the cringeworthy crown — with Joe Don leading the field due to his hair game, meticulously and impossibly coiffed and highlighted in such a way that his chin bristle struggles to remind us he’s a man. Don’t even mention the teefs.
|The wonders of Photoshoppe made this “group” shot possible!|
Look: The Inky Jukebox loves the Flatts — they are essential when it comes to singing along loudly in your car — but Good Lord, Big Machine: lay off the Photoshoppe (misspelling intended), and hire a less flamboyant Art Director will ya? (Even if that means firing your wife.)