On their sixth album, Unstoppable
, Rascal Flatts
trade their "aw shucks" persona for a title that Michael Jackson
somehow missed in his King of Pop phase, and act like superstars rather than boys next door made good. Almost nothing about Unstoppable
is modest, not the sounds, not the sentiments -- only the songs, whether they're sports-bar party anthems like "Summer Nights"; glistening, tightly wound crossover pop like "Close" and its breezy counterpart "She'd Be California"; or arena ballads like the first single, "Here Comes Goodbye." Despite a lot of driving, sequenced rhythms, most of the record feels as if it belongs in the arena ballad category, thanks to how every track comes across as waves of gleaming sound topped by the group's harmonies. The smoothness is overwhelming and Rascal Flatts
seem certain of their own invincibility.