Darius Rucker - When Was The Last Time
Ahhh, Darius Rucker. Good old dependable Darius Rucker. In so many ways he's the perfect example of the current Nashville conveyor belt of country-pop, yet he's also got something more real about him. On his seventh studio record the Charleston singer delves toe deep into love and longing, but beneath that surface sheen When Was The Last Time is a love letter to his home state of South Carolina, and to life itself.
Whether Rucker is singing about doing something 'For The First Time', riffing on being 'Twentysomething' or musing that 'Life's Too Short' he's doing so in the most chipper manner possible ("I' don't like this living / I love it"). It's cheery, uplifting stuff, with the most ecstatic lines reserved for his home State ("I don't call Carolina just a place I visit / I call Caroline home").
It's such a mainstream album it should be hard to like, but Rucker has a fantastic depth to his voice, and is the most likable man in country music. It's impossible not to become wrapped up in his bonhomie and love of Southern USA.