Prime Cuts: A Little Love (with MercyMe), The Distance, All I See (with BRELAND)
Overall Grade: 3/5
If you like the sounds of Rascal Flats from the early 2000s, you won't be disappointed with Gary LeVox's debut solo EP. Those signature pop-country offerings with a flair for the dramatic are all back on this 5 -song collection. Moreover, LeVox is vocally in his pristine state. His sunny, note-sustaining, and high-reaching vocals are all over these newly crafted songs. And to ensure that all the cylinders are out, every song on this record (save for "The Distance") features a duet partner, from MercyMe to BRELAND to Jonathan McReynolds to his own daughter Brittany.
What's left to be assessed are the songs. "A Little Love" has the words "instantaneous hit single" written all over. This thumpy and rhythm-happy outing encapsulates a message that needs to be heard: It doesn't take much to show love to others. With such an inspiring and not overtly religious message, the song could also make its way into country radio too. Lyrically strongest is the single "The Distance." A commissioning song that functions to give courage to attempt great things for God, "The Distance" is a classic-to-be-graduation song.
Brittany LeVox has inherited Gary's musical genes as she belts with her dad on "While I Wait." The theme of praising God in the midst of our waiting is hardly a novelty. And there's nothing wrong with re-visiting tried and true subjects except you need to bring in a new perspective. Unfortunately, "While I Wait" rides on too much of what has been said far too many times before.
Not sure what Jonathan McReynolds and BRELAND's contributions are on "Never Forget" and "All I See" respectively. These song are essentially typical Rascal Flatts' songs with its soft intro and those dynamic-sounding choruses. They are listenable without being memorable. It's great to see Gary LeVox stepping out on his own own. However, he's stepping far too close to what gave him and Rascal Flatts success more than a decade ago. It's safe but one yearns to hear a newer sound and songs that have something more substantial to say, rather than the same recycled cliches.