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It has been more than 20 years since Lonestar released “Amazed,” and landed in the No. 1 position on country music charts for 16 consecutive weeks. Since then, Richie McDonald left the group to work on a few solo projects . Richie has returned to the band, and is part of the new album “Life As We Know It,” which released on June 4.
I don’t think anyone can hear the name Lonestar without remembering their hit song “Amazed.” And, while that song definitely brought them the most success, it was not their only number one hit. “Smile,” ”Come Cryin’ to Me,” “No News, ” “What About Now,” “Tell Her,” “I’m Already there,” “My Front Porch Looking In,” and “Mr. Mom” all took their turn at the top spot.
Back to its original four members, with Richie McDonald, Dean Sams, Keech Rainwater and Michael Britt, have put together this new album that showcase Lonestar’s talent, both as a band and as songwriters.
The band wrote all but three songs on this album, that gives us The Countdown, Maybe Someday, How Can She Be Everywhere, Pretty Good Day, With My Eyes Open, Party All Day, Life as We Know It, If It Wasn’t for You, I Miss When, I Did it for the Girl, Just the Rain, and Oh Yeah.
Music titles can sometimes confuse the listener. This isn’t the first time “Life As We Know It” has been on the cover of an album. The last time, it was on vinyl, and the album was by REO Speedwagon. That was back in 1987. More recently Greg Bates did a country song called “Did It For The Girl,” and Lonestar has a song on this album with almost the same title, “I Did It For The Girl.”
I wasn’t really impressed with the title track, “Life As We Know It,” and I can’t imagine that one doing very well if released as a single. “Countdown,” the first song on the album, is a good song, and I’m not surprised they put that in the lead-off position.
I only had to listen to the album once to pick a favorite song. For me, “Just the Rain” was the one I wanted to hear again and again. It reminds me of Lonestar 20 years ago. Those of us who were fans then will remain fans, as long as the group keeps putting out this kind of music. It’s a slow, emotional song, well sung, and allows the band to showcase the harmony they’ve always been known for.
As much as I like “Just the Rain,” I’m not sure that one will do well as a single. But there are some that will. I think a great single for this group would be “How Can She Be Everywhere.” Radio might also enjoy sharing songs like “If It Wasn’t For You” and “I Miss When,” with listeners. “Pretty Good Day” is another one that I would imagine people will call and request if it is released as a single. It is an uptempo, feel good song.
The whole album is good, and I think the ballads are the best. “I Miss When,” “Just Rain” and “Maybe Someday” are great songs. But, in today’s Top 40 country market, if those ballads were released to radio, I’m not sure they would get the air time some of the faster songs would.
Keep up with Lonestar by visiting their website, www.lonestarnow.com. Follow them on Twitter @lonestarband. To find out everything going on in country music, visit www.countryschatter.com, and follow us on Twitter @countryschatter.