Darius Rucker has had an illustrious career in music. He first gained fame as the lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning rock band, Hootie & The Blowfish, which he founded in 1986. He released a solo R&B album in 2002 and 6 years later he was signed to Capitol Records Nashville as a country music artist. He is the first African-American to chart a solo number 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart since Charlie Pride in 1983. Rucker is also the first African-American to win the New Artist Award from the Country Music Association.
“Southern Style” is the second single off Rucker’s 5th studio album by the same name. The track starts out rock-ish with loud production; it’s a mainstream and radio friendly single, and fans will definitely like it. Rucker’s vocals are on point, as usual. I love his voice; it’s smooth with just a hint of grit, warm and deep. Plus, the track has a catchy chorus that will have you singing along right away.
It talks about a girl who was raised ‘Southern Style’. Rucker sings, “Southern style free and easy, Southern style warm and breezy, If ya met her man believe me you’d want her to stay a while, She said she don’t believe in strangers, Only sinners with a savior, ‘Cause her mom and daddy raised her Southern style.” The fact that Faulkner, Billy Graham, and Lil’ Wayne are all mentioned in this song is a bit disconcerting to me, meaning that I admit that I’m 50/50 on this track. The production and certain lyrics just don’t do it for me, but I love Rucker’s voice and it is a catchy, summery song. There’s not a lot more to say on it; it’s an average song that will do fine at radio and fans will be playing it all summer long.