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Learn to Live is Darius Rucker's second studio album that was released on September 16, 2008 by Capitol Nashville.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Forever Road 4:02
  2. All I Want 3:49
  3. Don't Think I Don't Think About It 3:03
  4. Learn To Live 3:48
  5. If I Had Wings 4:04
  6. History In The Making 3:30
  7. Alright 3:52
  8. It Won't Be Like This For Long 3:39
  9. Drinkin' And Dialin' 3:05
  10. I Hope They Get To Me In Time 3:27
  11. While I Still Got The Time 3:50
  12. Be Wary Of A Woman 3:27

Album BackgroundEdit

"Learn to Live" was recorded both in Franklin, Tennessee, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Brady Vercher of Engine 145 praised the album's overall production and sound, finding nearly every track to, "sound as if it were crafted to be a potential single, with solid hooks and melodies aplenty, but at times the phrasing is more focused on selling those aspects at the expense of emotion."

Slant Magazine's Johnathan Keefe praised the album's production, saying that the record makes, "a concerted effort to sound like a modern country album." He also gave credit to the album's producer, Frank Rogers (who had previously produced Brad Paisley's albums), who had co-written most of the album's twelve tracks.

Many of the tracks are a variety of country music styles. The second track, "All I Want" is set in a two-step shuffle, while "Drinkin' and Dialin'" is a "clever barroom crawl," according to Allmusic.

The track, "All I Want" features guitar played by Brad Paisley and its fifth track, "If I Had Wings," features harmony vocals from country artists Vince Gill and Alison Krauss.

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Learn to Live" debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and at #5 on the overall Billboard 200, selling 60,000 copies in its first week.

As of February 2010, the album has sold 1,298,274 copies in the United States (according to Nielsen SoundScan)

It was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments to retailers of a million copies.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"Learn to Live" received a score of 66 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".

Blake Boldt of PopMatters gave the album overall solid review, praising the single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," by calling Rucker's delivery, "honest and heartfelt."

Boldt was also pleased with the fact that Rucker attracted, "the attention of the country radio audience with that single, and it’s helped boost the profile of his first full country album, Learn to Live, a release that owns a variety of country music’s common topics and musical techniques."

Boldt concluded his review by saying, "Learn to Live is well-produced and well-sung, but too many of the songs fail to fit the artist behind them."

Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe also praised Learn to Live, calling the single, "Alright," an "essential" track. Rodman later stated, "If you're going to be tooling down the middle of the road, "Learn to Live" is perfectly pleasant accompaniment."

THe album was also reviewed by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic, who gave the release three out of five stars. Like PopMatters, he was pleased that Rucker chose to make a "leap" into country music.

He frequently compared the album to Hootie & the Blowfish's album, "Cracked Rear View", saying that the material was, "written with Rucker in mind, not a jam band, they're more pop in form and feel than anything he's done since."

Erlewine then stated, "...these songs aren't knockouts, but they're friendly and comfortable, the kind of sturdy roots-pop that seems like it'd be easy to pull off but must not be, as this delicate balance of conversational melody and guy-next-door appeal has proven elusive to Rucker for over a decade now."

The New York Times favored the album as well. Critic Jon Caramanica found Rucker to be "well-suited" to country music and called the tracks, "impressively eclectic and sharply written."

He compared "Alright" to that of the recent hits by country singer, Craig Morgan, and then concluded by saying, "Such missteps [the song "If I Had Wings"] are few, though, and “Learn to Live” is seamless enough that it almost slips by unnoticed that Mr. Rucker is the first African-American to have a Top 10 country hit (the muscular “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”) since Charley Pride."

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