Patience is a virtue, but you won't need it to get your hands on this 2012 new album. Notable country trio Rascal Flatts will drop their eighth studio album, the follow-up to the dangerously successful 'Nothing Like This,' on April 3.

The Inspiration
After more than a decade, you'd think that the Rascal Flatts gang would be running out of steam, or at least ideas. Not so. In 2011, the 'Easy' singers hit the road in a different way, with their first ever full-on festival in the form of the Flatts Fest Tour. Then, the band was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and laid the blueprints for a cruise aboard a Norwegian liner. And if that's not enough, Joe Don Rooney added a new daughter to his growing brood in 2010, the same year that Jay DeMarcus became a first time father to a baby girl himself, so perhaps we'll get a lullaby or two when spring rolls around. At the very least, we'd say they've got plenty of new material for the upcoming release.

The Songs
Rascal Flatts are known for carrying their signature sound from album to album -- they're one of the few bands that can get away with it -- and in fact, it's what keeps fans coming back for more. We don't anticipate that their 2012 new album will stray too far from the formula that has worked so well for them in the past. However, in the past year the Flatts have dabbled with both Natasha Bedingfield and Justin Bieber, both of whom are pop-spun, so perhaps we'll hear some similarities there -- or even another collaboration.

What to Expect
One major difference between the forthcoming 2012 Rascal Flatts album and the previous seven is that the group is producing a handful of the songs without any assistance. In August, Jay DeMarcus had a little time to kill, and he hit Twitter to share his excitement for the record and even answer a few questions about it. “Another day tracking with the Flatts!!! New album comes out next spring!!!” he tweeted, adding later that the guys are “producing a few of the songs ourselves this time" and sharing a few studio photos. Rascal Flatts' five albums before this one were wholly produced by Dan Huff, and while he was present on this attempt, we're most anxious to hear what the Flatts boys can do standing on their own two -- err, six -- feet.