The rise of Thomas Rhett has been a pretty incredible journey. The singer-songwriter released his debut album It Goes Looks Like This in 2013 and he scored three number one singles from it. From this, it’s just been success after success. Of course, however, with success comes criticism and Rhett has faced his fair share of criticism regarding his music style. Traditional country lovers have critiqued that he’s a pop artist and not a country artist. His third album, Life Changes, continues his path of cross-genre and proves that you can be in fact both country and pop at the same time.
Life Changes begins with Rhett’s latest single ‘Craving You’ featuring Maren Morris. It’s an undeniably catchy country-pop tune with an infectious 80s style production. It’s the perfect introduction to the versatile style Thomas is capable of creating. Another song on the album ‘Renegades’ follows this arena-ready sound and will be strong live performance.
Much of Life Changes gives the listeners a glimpse into his love story with his wife. Songs such as ‘Unforgettable’ reveal a night where the two transitioned from childhood friends to lovers. Additionally, the title track looks back on his dreams before popping the question to Lauren when everyone was in doubt. Lyrics include “I bought a ring and she said I do / but everybody else said, ‘Man you’re 22 what you trying to prove”. The album’s sweetest song comes with the final track ‘Grave’ where Rhett sings of how his wife is everything. Rhett successfully helps us all believe in true love and gives us hope for our own lives.
While his sentimental side is showcased on Life Changes, so is his infectious energy. The singer proves on numerous R&B influenced tracks that he is able to segue effortlessly from genre to genre. The sultry beats of ‘Gateway Love’, ‘Leave Right Now’ and ‘When You Look Like That’ highlight the versatility of Thomas Rhett whilst remaining true to his core genre and taste. He leaves his distinct mark on each song whilst pushing new boundaries – something that not many artists are successful in achieving.
His most ambitious release yet, Life Changes has something for everyone. With tracks that can both strike a chord and start a party, Thomas Rhett showcases some of the best songwriting within the country genre. As the album embraces new sounds and production, Life Changes proves that Rhett is a force to be reckoned with.
Words by Hannah Strong