Top 5 Thomas Rhett Songs
Watching Thomas Rhett's meteoric rise from a Big Machine-signed songwriter to a radio darling and tour-headlining country superstar has been nothing short of astounding.
Then again, the Georgia-born multi-hyphenate was blessed with good musical genes: His dad is Rhett Akins, who was a staple of the country radio charts in the 1990s and 2000s. Still, Rhett is forging his own unique path, courtesy of fresh-sounding songs that aren't afraid to stretch the boundaries of country music and incorporate other sounds and styles.
Rhett no doubt has a long career ahead of him. For now, however, here are his Top 5 songs.
Rhett's Southern twang was in full effect on his debut album's title track, a double-platinum single with jagged electric guitars and stormy instrumentation. However, its passion and urgency reflect the song's sentiments, which are all about how creatively inspiring Rhett finds a lady in his life: "Lookin' at you lookin' at me that way / Makes me wanna grab my old guitar and play."
Rhett's penchant for summer-kissed atmospheres and unexpected instrumental flourishes is evident on the John Mayer-esque "Make Me Wanna," another song from his debut album. The first verse boasts soulful organ in the background, while Verse No. 2 shifts gears from bluesy guitars and incorporates striking electronic effects. After a bridge highlighting an evocative electric solo, breezy percussion — in the form of pattering congas — adds even more depth.
Rhett took giant creative leaps between his freshman and sophomore albums, and started to experiment with his sound — as evidenced by a song such as "T-Shirt," which describes the consummation of a flirtation: "I see you spinnin' around in my T-shirt / Right there / Your hair, messed up like a Guns 'n' Roses video." Musically, the song promotes this sassy atmosphere by employing a danceable groove with funky piano and a bluesy bent, as well as an earworm chorus that's impossible to resist.
"Crash and Burn" is a throwback to the days when rock 'n' roll, R&B and country music were barely distinguishable. The Country Airplay chart No. 1 has a decidedly '50s vibe, between its whimsical whistling, doo-wop-inspired harmonies and swinging grooves, while its lyrics are decidedly self-aware about romantic self-destruction: "Some guys can't have all the luck," Rhett sings, "if others don't sing sad songs." "Crash and Burn" established Rhett as an artist who isn't afraid to take chances.
Time will tell whether this No. 1 smash brings home the Grammy for Best Country Song in 2017; however, the laid-back, romantic song — which cherishes the perfection of a night marked by a "bottle of wine / And the look in your eyes and the Marvin Gaye" as the soundtrack for dancing — more than deserves being considered alongside the rest of the nominees. Not only is "Die a Happy Man" a showcase for Rhett's increasingly confident voice, but it embodies his ability to take a familiar theme (e.g., faithful, undying love) and find new things to say about it.