The past two years have been a whirlwind for Thomas Rhett, who has experienced a number of major events that have inspired his new album, Life Changes, out now.
The country star has enjoyed the massive success of his sophomore album Tangled Up, which produced hit single “Die A Happy Man,” a heartfelt ballad that catapulted him into super stardom and one he claims changed his life forever. The love song reached no. 1 on both U.S. and Canadian country charts, achieved multi-Platinum certification for sales, and earned Rhett both a CMA Award and Billboard Music Award.
Despite achieving his biggest musical breakthrough, Rhett did not face his most monumental life experience until this spring when he became a father not once, but twice. Him and wife Lauren adopted daughter Willa in May and welcomed biological daughter Ada last month, and his new role as a doting dad and dedicated family man has certainly shone through in his latest LP.
Lead single and opening track “Craving You” is a radio-friendly, country-pop tune featuring guest vocals from Grammy winner Maren Morris. It’s a pleasing toe-tapper nonetheless but rather forgettable compared to the album’s deep cuts, where Rhett’s songwriting chops really impress. Nostalgia runs deep in “Sixteen,” a sweet take on the ups and downs of growing up that will take listeners on a carefree trip down memory lane.
Hopeless romantics will appreciate “Sweetheart,” which is undeniably this album’s “Die a Happy Man,” for the loving lyrics coupled with dreamy 1950s doo-wop. Life Changes excels at showcasing Rhett’s versatility as an artist, as the album is laced with traditional country romps (“Drink a Little Beer,” “Grave” and “Renegades”) along with some unexpected musical styles. Rhett channels Marvin Gaye in the seductive “Kiss Me Like a Stranger” and “When You Look Like That,” and even experiments with EDM on “Leave Right Now.”
The album’s biggest standout song has to be the title track, as Rhett chronicles all his most significant “life changes,” from launching his musical career to getting married and becoming a father of two. It veers more towards the pop genre than Rhett’s typical country roots, but nevertheless is a cute ode to his family and fans for taking him on the wonderful roller coaster ride his life has become (“You never know what’s gonna happen / you make your plans then you hear God laughing / Life changes and I wouldn’t change it for the world”).
Rhett hit the road earlier in the year prior to his daughters’ arrivals, and is slated to tour 17 North American cities and 5 U.K. dates through November in promotion of Life Changes. Browse tickets here.