GAC Review: "Life As We Know It"
After sitting out Lonestar’s 2010 album, Party Heard Around the World, as he pursued a solo career, original lead singer Richie McDonald returns for the band’s eighth studio album. Life As We Know It, due in stores June 4, not only marks a reunion between Richie and fellow members Michael Britt (lead guitar/backing vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums) and Dean Sams(keyboards/backing vocals), but it’s also the first time the group has had complete creative control over a new project.
Lonestar not only produced Life As We Know It themselves, but they’re also set to release it through their own 4 Star Records. Pair that with the quartet writing nine of the album’s 12 songs and the foundation here is one of complete artistic freedom. The result is in many ways a return to form for the group that notched nine No. 1 singles through the late ’90s and early ’00s.
Full of electric riffs and tight harmonies, Life As We Know It showcases a rejuvenated band throughout much of the record. Songs like the summer anthem “Party All Day” and pace-setting opener, “The Countdown,” establish the tone as Lonestar moves through an incredibly polished collection. Stretching out on “Maybe Someday,” Richie’s dynamic vocal creates emotional urgency when matched with the flowing rhythm section. And on “I Did It For The Girl,” Michael’s guitar twists land evenly with Keech’s percussive turns. Dean’s ringing piano melody adds sonic depth and by the time Richie leans into the line, I knew Rebecca had her eye on me, when I came up for air she said, ‘Boy you’re crazy,’ the band is in high gear.
While the consciously modern lyrics of songs like the jilted tale, “How Can She Be Everywhere,” catch the ear with references to YouTube and Facebook, Life As We Know It stands out for easygoing numbers that balance nostalgia with self-aware humor. On the shuffling “Pretty Good Day” it’s a quick line about the relief that comes with not seeing yourself in the obituaries. The good-natured “I Miss When” delivers a string of relatable anecdotes involving time-honored, ‘glory days’ topics like the girl next door and mowing lawns for extra cash. Richie does an excellent job connecting with the audience here by emphasizing the sort of universal simple pleasures bound to make listeners smile. I miss when time moved slower and too loud sounded good, he sings with a nudge. Willing to shake things up with funky rhythms and a horn section, “Oh Yeah” details the group’s early years where guitar amps and a two-car garage were a little slice of heaven before turning to thank all the fans that brought Lonestar this far.
Set to sentimental piano and warm strings, the stirring ballad “Just The Rain” provides the album’s most striking moments through its vivid depiction of loss.I can feel you on my skin / but to them, it’s only the wind, Richie sings, easing patiently into each new line while building tension. This sort of drama and emotion, packed into each new passage, showcases a skilled group of musicians with an undeniable chemistry, and on Life As We Know It, that’s a welcome note for fans waiting on new material.
Key Tracks – “Just The Rain,” “Pretty Good Day,” “I Miss When,” “Maybe Someday”
New Album Here! Life As We Know It
20 years as a band, and Lonestar's new album manifests renewed energy while remaining reminiscent of their iconic hits. This new chapter in the life of Lonestar takes their sound to another level and can still be described as "country music delivered through a shotgun." Find out what we mean by purchasing the album here!
The album features classic ballads like "With My Eyes Open," as well as the pop and country hybrids they're known for in tracks like "Pretty Good Day" and "Party All Day." Complete track listing below!
- 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
- Oh Yeah
Stagecoach 2013: Lonestar makes crowds forget about 105 degree heat
Lonestar complimented each other well on the Mane Stage Sunday afternoon despite the heat reaching 105 degrees.
Nashville’s Florida Georgia Line showed why it’s a rising country act on Sunday with country and hip-hip songs that resulted in multiple singalongs from its fans while Lonestar’s set started with a sparse crowd but grew quickly after performing “My Front Porch Looking In.”
Florida Georgia Lina saved their No. 1 hit “Cruise” for last but it didn’t matter as fans were clapping and in some cases rapping for songs like “Get Your Shine On,” “Dayum, Baby” and “Party People,” where group members went out into the audience for nearly the entire song and shook hands and sang on the security rail.
Additionally, the group performed hip-hop hits by 50 Cent (“In Da Club”), Lil’ Troy (“Wanna Be a Baller), Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa (“Young, Wild & Free”) and, appropriately enough, Nelly (“Hot in Herre”).
Lonestar asked the audience how they were feeling and said they were playing Stagecoach for their first time.
“Does it get any hotter? Just keep drinking plenty of fluids” lead singer Richie McDonald asked before the group went into their 2005 hit “You’re Like Comin’ Home” song.
The group also brought up “Wounded Warriors,” or Armed Forces veterans injured in combat. McDonald dedicated the song “I’m Already There” to the group who “put their lives on the line for this great country of ours.”
Both acts had great surround sound at the mane stage with no issues with their vocals despite the intense heat.
Additionally, Blue Sky Riders, which feature singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins, performed later in the Palomino Stage.
I only caught the end of their set but the group sonically was on point and performed “You Took The Words (Right Outta My Mouth),” the crowd pleaser “Just Say Yes” and a cover of the Beatles “Help!” which the audience sang word for word.