ToC Critic’s Pick: Thomas Rhett, ‘Crash and Burn’ [Listen]
With “Crash and Burn” Thomas Rhett introduces a new brand sub-genre of country music. It's tempting to label it “Mo-Country,” but the artist Rhett relies on for influence didn’t come from Motown. We’ll call this lead single from Rhett’s next album “So-Country.”
That’s a hybrid of soul, and country. Sam Cooke’s fingerprints are all over Rhett’s new song, beginning with the “Ooh, ahh” chorus at the beginning and again through each verse.
“Do you hear that / I’m right there / That’s the sound of lonely callin’ / Do you hear that / It’s where I’m at / It’s the sound of teardrops falling down / A slammin’ door and a lesson learned I let another love crash and burn,” Rhett sings at the chorus.
Cooke’s ’60s hit “Chain Gang” also asks the listeners if they hear something, creating obvious (and surely intended) similarities. Thematically, they’re very, very different. This is a breakup song.
“I know that it might it sound jaded man I’d have to say / I think love is overrated but I don’t like throwing it away / I know you could probably tell me right where I went wrong / Some guys can’t have all the luck if others don’t sing sad songs,” Rhett sings in a quasi spoken-word style during the second verse, the song’s sharpest.
The “So-Country” label is a joke of course, but Rhett is part of a group of artists looking back to move forward. Writer Chris Stapleton and fellow BMLG artist Drake White also recall throwback artists not of the country genre. Rhett’s song doesn’t stray too far, however. He works traditional instruments in throughout the song to center it. The result is a fresh, new style sure to make an impact at radio. It’s a win for everyone, especially an artist who is proving he's older than the year listed on his driver's license.
Key Lyrics: "A slammin’ door and a lesson learned I let another love crash and burn.”
Did You Know?: Chris Stapleton wrote "Crash and Burn" and sings backing vocals on Rhett's song.
Listen to Thomas Rhett, "Crash and Burn"
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