Personally, I see the seasons as music genres. Fall is r&b and as the season transforms into winter then I drift towards folklore and then as the flowers spring up I lure myself into pop. But with the inevitable return of summer, I crave country. Something about sunny and 75 perfectly pairs with a country song. With April showers constant every other day, Thomas Rhett has released his brand new album to give me something to look forward to once the May flowers sprout.
Rhett released ‘Where We Started’ on April 1 totaling 15 songs and about 47 minutes. The album’s features include Katy Perry, Riley Green, Tyler Hubbard, and Russell Dickinson. Although categorized in the country genre, his songs often have a pop influence. Despite this, his songs are full of heartfelt stories that mimic a good conversation with an old friend, with comfortability comes country music.
The albums hold two songs of heaviness and heartache that I could not recommend enough. Firstly, “Death Row” sung by Rhett, Hubbard, and Dickinson was written after the trio visited a prison and had conversations with criminals that were sentenced to death. I acknowledge that they’re convicted because it allows us (the audience) to realize our privilege. These men took this learning experience and wrote a song with the theme of humanity. Rhett sings, “I thought that he would be a monster/It turns out he’s a whole lot like I am.” I love that they decriminalized these men and saw them as people who made mistakes and owned up to them. The heaviness I felt came from the lyrics about the afterlife and how these men sang “Amazing Grace” and pled because their end is near. Not only had they accepted their part in crimes but they had to accept that their lives were about to end and there was nothing they could do but watch the days go by and pray to be forgiven.
Secondly, “Mama’s Front Door” is the love ballad that every hopeless romantic dreams of. Rhett sings about the evolution of his relationship with his now-wife and her mother’s house. He begins with his recollections about having her back before curfew and sneaking in and out of each other’s houses. Next verse, he declares his love for her on the front porch where her dad gives his blessing for their marriage. To now, he shows up on that same front porch, “Got three crazy kids hangin’ all over me…Watchin’ em run through your mama’s front door.” The song is sweet and sentimental and a tale of two people in love from the perspective of a southern front porch.
Songs such as “Slow Down Summer”, “Church Boots”, and “Bass Pro Hat” are the typical country songs that scream southern but I can appreciate that Rhett included music with a message instead of the stereotypical lyrics that country is known for. Overall, my love for Thomas Rhett’s music has grown and I am excited for a fun summer singing with the windows down!
Photo Credits from: https://music.apple.com/us/album/where-we-started/1603477816