Release Date: Sep 16, 2008
Record label: Capitol-Nashville
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Country
The Artist Still Mostly Known as Hootie joins the decreasingly elite fraternity of faded pop superstars attempting to recapture relevance via a Nashville makeover with this patchwork series of songs ranging from pretty great (first single ”Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”) to pretty god-awful (obligatory Christianish ballad ”If I Had Wings,” which tries and fails to rhyme the words killing and children). If you consider Darius Rucker’s bajillion-selling voice something of an old friend, Learn to Live is worth a listen. Otherwise? Meh.
Darius Rucker's leap into country music is not a move without precedent for the Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer, as his band was loosely rooted in country-ish roots rock. Nevertheless, a more important antecedent for Learn to Live is a 2005 Burger King commercial where Rucker was decked out in a Nudie suit while singing a spin on "Big Rock Candy Mountain. " It was the unveiling of Rucker the country singer, and caused enough of a sensation to make a country album seem like a feasible move.
On his first country single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”, Darius Rucker delivers an honest, heartfelt performance of a pensive ballad about love lost and the mark that it usually leaves. Rucker has attracted the attention of the country radio audience with that single, and it’s helped boost the profile of his first full country album, Learn to Live, a release that owns a variety of country music’s common topics and musical techniques. It’s that first single, though, where he sounds most natural and comfortable.