Album Review: Charleston, SC 1966 by Darius Rucker
Fairly Good, Based on 5 Critics
Entertainment Weekly - 79 Based on rating B+
Hootie sounded plenty confident minus the Blowfish on Learn to Live, his 2008 debut as a country act, so Charleston, SC 1966 doesn’t reveal a singer more in touch with his twang. But it does show some nice songwriting growth: ”Might Get Lucky” nails married-with-children romance, while ”Southern State of Mind” redeems a truckload of down-home clichés. The moving ”Whiskey and You” even suggests he’s got Something to Say.
Nashville has seen no shortage of washed-up adult contemporary stars trying to “go country” over the last few years, but none of them have been able to pull off the transition as well as Darius Rucker. What Learn to Live, his Capitol Nashville debut, proved was that Rucker, more so than other would-be crossover acts like Jewel or Jessica Simpson, is willing to play into the currently popular trends in pop-country, and his latest, Charleston, SC 1966, makes no attempts whatsoever to stray from the path set forth by its predecessor. The result is a perfectly serviceable, contemporary country record that Rucker uses his affable charm and warm baritone to sell.
A countrified return from the Hootie & The Blowfish frontman Jon Lusk 2011 Before he became the first African American to top the US country charts since Charlie Pride in 1983, Darius Rucker was best known as the voice of Hootie & The Blowfish, the bizarrely-named rockers whose 1994 debut album sold a staggering 16 million copies. Rucker’s decision to launch a full-time solo career in 2008 has meant a hiatus for them, but continued success for Rucker, who as a child of South Carolina, says he’d always felt frustrated with not being able to pursue a more country sound. Charleston, SC 1966, a reference to his place and date of birth, is actually the third disc of his solo career, which commenced in 2002 with the R&B-tinged Back To Then, and turned towards country with 2008’s Learn To Live.
DARIUS RUCKER “Charleston, SC 1966” (Capitol Nashville) Nothing gets Darius Rucker more excited than the erotics of domesticity. “Might Get Lucky” is the most convincing song on “Charleston, SC 1966,” and the one that preaches the virtues of chores and child rearing as tools to get something a little naughtier. “The key to get a second look/And a ‘Come here, honey’/Is treat her right in the daylight,” Mr.
Darius Rucker expressed genuine amazement and gratitude last year when he accepted the CMA award for “Best New Artist,” and with good reason. His win was the white country music industry’s first major acceptance of a black artist since Charley Pride, and of someone who had already made it big in both pop and (the final days of) AOR as the voice of Hootie and the Blowfish. With his new release, Charleston, SC 1966, Rucker and producer Frank Rogers have wisely gone back to the well that led to that award, deciding there’s no sense in fixing something that isn’t broken.