Darius Rucker: 'Learn To Live' – Album Review
by Janelle Landauer
Darius Rucker has always wanted a career in country music – but after his band found major success on mainstream radio stations, Rucker’s country dreams were put on hold. Rucker is the grammy-winning lead singer of the popular group, Hootie & the Blowfish. Over the years, Rucker has sold over 25 million albums with the group, along with winning several awards and touring around the world.
Rucker and the other members of Hootie & the Blowfish decided to slow down on touring – and this was the right time for Rucker to realize and chase his dream of making it in country music and also
playing at the Grand Ole Opry. His first single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” became a huge debut hit – reaching the #1 spot on the country charts. Whether it was country fans helping to launch a new artist or Hootie fans pulling together to support their favorite lead singer – or both – Rucker has shown that he is capable of making the switch to country music, and fans have readily accepted him. In 2008, Rucker also achieved his goal of performing on the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage.
In addition to country fans showing interest in Rucker, Nashville and other artists have thrown their support behind him as well. Capitol Records Nashville signed him on to record his debut country project, Learn To Live. And, Vince Gill and Alison Krauss chipped in on the background vocals for Rucker's song “If I Had Wings” – a touching ballad looking at the many problems that we face in today’s world.
Early favorites from Learn To Live seem to be the title track, “Learn To Live,” his first single "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," "History In The Making,” “Alright,” and his new single “It Won’t Be Like This For Long.” “Alright” is reminiscent of some of Hootie & the Blowfish’s work, but it fits right in on this CD. “Learn To Live” states a good point, though some of the song lyrics in the chorus are quite predictable. “You’ve gotta live and learn, you’ve gotta crash and burn… you’ve gotta make some stances, and take some chances… you’ve gotta laugh and love and take all life has to give.. You’ve gotta live and learn so you can learn to live.."
Rucker’s new project is far ahead of most country debuts – obviously in part because Rucker has the experience and knowledge from his work with Hootie & the blowfish. He knows what he wants and he knows how to execute his ideas. Rucker has solidified his place with Hootie & the blowfish and their mainstream fans, but he definitely has a place in country music as well.