Release date: September 2008
Learn to Live is the second solo studio album by American country artist, Darius Rucker. The album was released September 16, 2008 on Capitol Nashville Records and was produced by Frank Rogers. Learn to Live was Rucker's first studio album marketed towards country music, and is also his first release since 2002 R&B release Back to Then. The album had spawned three number one singles on the Billboard country music chart: "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," "It Won't Be Like This for Long," and "Alright."
Learn to Live was recorded both in Franklin, Tennessee, and Nashville, Tennessee. Brady Vercher of The 9513 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.
Learn To Live takes the listener on a voyage through life's experiences. The album's arc covers major life themes such as falling in love, birth and death. "This CD is a journey," Rucker says. "I realized I'm 42. I'm not going to write many songs about drinking, chasing girls or booty calls. I was going to write songs about having kids and stuff - songs about life." Guests on the album include Brad Paisley on the humorous "All I Want" and Vince Gill and Alison Krauss on the inspirational "If I Had Wings." "To me, he's one of the best guitar players around," Rucker says. Gill and Krauss made Rucker, the ultimate fan, dizzy with delight: "They sounded like angels. You have these two artists singing on top of my voice . . . it gave me chills."
The album's lead single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" was released May 27, 2008. The song became Rucker's first number one single by September 2008, becoming the first African-American country artist to have a major hit since Charley Pride in the 1980s. 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, and has now been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments to retailers of a million copies. After releasing the album's second single in late 2008 entitled, "It Won't Be Like This for Long," the song became his second number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The album's seventh track entitled, "Alright," was released as a single shortly afterward. The song became Rucker's third number one single on the Billboard country chart, spending two weeks at #1 in early August. On September 8, 2009, the album's fourth single, "History in the Making," was released, debuting at #51 on the Billboard country chart.