(Radio.com) Darius Rucker returns with his fifth country album, When Was the Last Time, and he switched gears this time around. Working with producer Ross Copperman (Dierks Bentley, Brett Eldredge, Keith Urban) for the first time, the country crooner says the laid-back producer helped to craft his latest album into his ideal vision.
"I think having a new producer doing things a little differently is really the story of this album," Rucker says. "Even with the Hootie and the Blowfish records, we worked with Don Gehman on almost every record, so I'm used to having that comfort of working with the same producer. And I loved working with Frank Rogers on my previous (solo) records; he's my brother, and I'm sure we'll work together again. But we did such a change-up with this. I knew I liked Ross's sound from the records he'd done with Dierks and some other people and when I met him, I instantly took to him and thought, 'I want some of this kid's energy.' That kid is never not laughing. He's also a friggin' genius with the equipment and coming up with things that really make the record."
Rucker says this time around the album's vocals were done in a new way thanks to Copperman, who suggested he sing each song a couple times and if it felt good the track was done.
"This was as far as you could get from any kind of tedious thing," Rucker confesses. "It was really three days, altogether, of recording music. One time, Ross came into Charleston to work, and we had planned five days to do six songs' and we did all six in one day. I was like, 'Wow, okay!'"
The singer describes the album as being more upbeat and current radio single "For the First Time" is just one example. The song asks, "When was the last time you did something for the first time? Let yourself go, baby, follow that feeling -- maybe something new is what you're needing."
"You say you never danced to a dashboard singing R.E.M. under summer stars / Never leaned back on a jet black Chevy blowing smoke rings in the dark," Rucker sings.
"Derrick George brought me part of a chorus that already had that line about R.E.M. We played so much R.E.M. in the day, so when I heard that, I said, 'Dude, I love it -- let's write this,'" he recalls. Read more here.