Thomas Rhett's "Crash and Burn" lyrics are bringing soul to country radio.

The song came about more or less by a random fluke, according to songwriter Chris Stapleton. "I have a good friend from Detroit named Jesse Frasure. We're kind of a musical odd couple," he tells Taste of Country. "He's a DJ and makes tracks. Stick us side by side, it's kind of a funny-looking pairing. But we're dear friends, and we've know each other a long time. He's a wonderful guy, and a wonderful talent."

Though their musical approaches are very different, the pair began working together — but not particularly with an eye toward releasing the results. "Maybe two years I had some of these ideas for these kind of pop songs," Stapleton recalls. "He and I just started moonlighting — he's a publisher in town, and he's a popular songwriter now. He and I would get together at night, almost in secret, to make these tracks, these pop things with no real agenda. 'Crash and Burn' was one of the earlier efforts at that. He has kind of a modern Motown thing that he does, and mix that with a little bit of hillbilly that I do, and the result is songs like 'Crash and Burn.'"

He has kind of a modern Motown thing that he does, and mix that with a little bit of hillbilly that I do, and the result is songs like 'Crash and Burn.'

The track juxtaposes a fun, uptempo vibe with a heartbreak lyric: "Do you hear that / It’s where I’m at / It’s the sound of teardrops fallin’ down, down / Slammin’ door and a lesson learned / I let another love crash and burn."

The "Crash and Burn" lyrics are a turn in a very different direction for Thomas Rhett, who recorded the song as the lead single from his much-anticipated sophomore album. The result is a song that stands out at country radio.

"He has a vision of where he wants to go and who he wants to be, I think, and a lot of these kinda different little pop things, guilty pleasures that Jesse and I made wound up in the hands of different artists and on buses, probably because they seemed musically odd to people to hear me do those things!" Stapleton says with a laugh. "But it just wound up in his hands, and at some point TR looked at me and said, 'Hey man, can I have this song?' And I said, 'Yeah, man, if you wanna cut it, do it.'"

It's particularly gratifying for Stapleton to see such an unusual song of his end up moving the ball forward for someone he's known for a long time. "I've known TR since before he was having the success he was having now, when he was just barely an adult," he says with another laugh. "He's a wonderful young man, and I'm happy for all his success, and happy to have any hand in it that if he wants to record some music."

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Thomas Rhett Talks About His New Album