Review: Thomas Rhett blends bro-country, traditional sounds on ‘Life Changes’ — Thomas Rhett has had a hell of a year, and it served as inspiration for his latest album Life Changes.

Rhett hit the country music scene in 2013 with his debut album, It Goes Like This, and produced three No. 1 hits. With a successful entry into the world of country music, his second album, Tangled, was highly anticipated — and topped the previous, earning him four No. 1s.

The superstar-level singer released his third studio album Life Changes Sept. 8.

With bro-country dominating the country airwaves, Rhett tries his hand at blending the pop vibes with more traditional sounds. This isn’t his first attempt at merging the two sounds. Off his second album, Rhett produced two vastly different songs: “Die A Happy Man” and “Vacation.”

On Life Changes, the slow versed “Marry Me” and the EDM-infused “Leave Right Now” are back-to-back tracks and could not differ more. “Marry Me” captures the insufferable feeling of watching the love of your life marry someone else. Though “Leave Right Now” is lyrically a treat, the beat feels out of place on the album. It strays too far from the staples of country music sound.

Songs like the upbeat “Unforgettable,” feel good “Sixteen” and sway-inducing “Sweetheart” focus more on storytelling, which is what makes country music so great. Those are the songs that make you want to roll down your windows and drive down two-lane roads through rolling hills and backroads.

His most inherently country song “Drink A Little Beer” features his dad Rhett Akins, a 90s country singer known for his song “That Ain’t My Truck.” The song is an upbeat, honky-tonk jam that could be heard in every country dive bar in America.

The title track is one of the best songs on the album and captures the bare bones of the album. It dives into the changes people experience all through life and brings his own love Lauren Akins into the song. It’s all about his wife, adopted child Willa Gray and newborn daughter Ada James. Anyone who knows the family will get all of the references in the song, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the song. Anyone who has experienced plenty of positive in life will relate.

The 14-track album is a great follow up to Tangled. With everything Rhett encountered in the past year, Life Changes keeps fans interested in his music and life. With the exception of a few pop-infused tunes, the album is solid and succeeds lyrically. Rhett is on his way to cranking out more hits from Life Changes.

Rating: 4/5

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