This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
Yeah, that’s right — it’s the guy from Hootie And The Blowfish. Which sorta makes this Hootie And No Fish, I guess. Although, truth is, this solo debut from Hootie lead vocalist Darius Rucker is pretty much a total break with the Blowfish’s everyman, middle-of-the-road roots-pop.
Back to Then is — believe it or not — a soul album, with Rucker smoothly crooning lover-man odes set to subtle hip-hop grooves. Or it would be, if he didn’t sound more like the stepchild of Billy Joel and Neil Diamond than any urban artist. Guest spots from Jill Scott and Snoop Dogg — who will now officially do anything for a buck, it seems — try but fail to add some street-level cred to Rucker’s bland soul-pop. Ultimately, this CD is just as accessible as anything Hootie has put out. And it’s about as deep, too. In other words, there’s still no good reason to give a hoot about anything Rucker does.