Darius Rucker picks up on his latest release, True Believers, where he left off on his sophomore album, Charleston, SC 1961. The album is twelve more tracks of radio ready pop country songs that would fit just as well at an Adult Contemporary radio station as they would at any modern country station. Right from the start, this is a major bright spot for Rucker. It’s a bright spot in that it shows just how commercially viable and accessible this record is. True Believers is dominated by the theme of romance and relationships that is common across musical genres. From the album’s opener and title track to the album’s lead single, a cover of Bob Dyland’s ‘Wagon Wheel’, to its final trio of songs, True Believers presents the highs and lows of romance and relationships from all of their possible angles. All the while, he does so against a full set of songs that will have audiences singing along happily whether at a live show or in their own car.
The general structure of True Believers is interesting in examining it from a lyrical standpoint. It could be argued that to a point, the album’s sequencing plays a role in its success. Its first pair of songs is set in a near story-telling fashion. The “story” starts off with a young couple fresh off of their wedding in happily wedded bliss in the album’s title track. From there, it advances a few years down the road to the point that so many couples sadly reach in ‘Miss You.’ This song presents the once happy couple now not so happy as their marriage has become strained due to everything going on in their lives. Rucker doesn’t point out what those stress factors are. But he paints a vivid picture, nonetheless. He writes in the song, “We can’t go all night/And not even touch one another, no/Baby, I’m still in love/So let’s be lovers/You know it’s not fair/That you can be right here/And I can be with you/Oh, oh and miss you…” There are a lot of listeners that could relate to this situation. And the song’s more withdrawn sound works quite well to illustrate the feelings of the figure portrayed. What makes this such an interesting song is that it could really be told from the point of both a man and a woman. That makes it even more worth a listen.
After the initial “story” set by the album’s first two tracks ends, different stories of love gained and lost are thrown in. From the gentle introspective ‘Love Without You (ft. Sheryl Crow)’ to the more upbeat ‘Lost in You’ to the tearjerker about lost love, ‘I Will Love You Still’ and beyond, listeners are introduced to the variety of emotions and situations in which romance and relationships play into our lives every day. And because so many of those situations are in fact so relatable, it makes them even more listenable for audiences.
For all of the deeply moving songs steeped in romance and relationships that Rucker amassed for this record, they aren’t all that he included among the album’s sequencing. Among all of those songs centered on love and loss, Rucker did include a little something to break up all of that emotion in the form of ‘Radio.’ ‘Radio’ is a song written very much in the vein of Everclear’s ‘AM Radio.’ It’s just a feel good song that again, any listener will appreciate. Any listener will appreciate it because unlike the album’s songs of love and loss, it is a musical trip down memory lane in every possible sense. It will remind every listener of their own younger days as Rucker sings, “Ridin’ down the highway/Who wants to be the DJ/I’ll find a spot on the side of the road/You find somethin’ on the radio/Like a feel real good song/We’ll know it when it comes on/Didn’t have no money/No place to go/All we needed was a radio.” As with the previously mentioned songs, this one does so well not just because of its happy-go-lucky lyrics, but the music behind those lyrics. The song’s music is just as upbeat as those lyrics. Together, it becomes no surprise that this song has in fact ended up the next song from his album on the ‘Radio’ (ba-dump-bump-bump).
Whether for ‘Radio’ or any of the other songs noted here (or any of those left out here), audiences are offered twelve more tracks full of fun and deep emotion. Fans across the country will get to hear the songs from this album, and his previous pair of albums as Darius tours in support of True Believers. He will be performing live tonight at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, CA. A full listing of Darius Rucker’s tour schedule is available on his official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/dariusrucker and his official website, http://www.dariusrucker.com. Fans can also stay up with all of the latest from Darius online through Twitter at http://twitter.com/dariusrucker and via Instagram at http://instagram.com/dariusruckermusic. His new album can be downloaded through iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/true-believers-deluxe-version/id646110993.