Recently life has been moving at a pace that is just dragging me along behind it. It’s bound to happen sometimes. School gets busy, time with friends becomes bittersweet, and the thought of sitting down to write on my own without the pressure of work or a project is unbearable. But here’s the thing about life… it keeps moving. We all have to find our niche and become comfortable with the flow of it. Thomas Rhett has found his niche by telling stories through songs that remind people of life’s ever-changing background. But while progressing forward, he looks back and remembers his roots. For me, the people and events that raised me, the so-called “roots,” are something to hold on too as I get older. When doing this, living life with doubt or regret is typical. Expected. However, the attitude and actions going forward make the difference.
Rhett’s new album, Life Changes, depicts a great example knowing your roots while moving forward. This album mixes Rhett’s country vibe with a pop twist. Every song is a different blend of genres: all-out country tunes, jazzy ballads, and “pop hooks.” The album listens as an “autobiographical track” where every song outlines how much his life has changed. “In the past year there have been so many dramatic and beautiful changes that I’ve experienced,” Rhett comments. And this catalog of songs tracks the changes he experienced while growing up, getting married, and on the road. His take on country is a fresh breath from a deeply misunderstood and stereotyped genre, with the straightforward storytelling a country song brings.
The title track, Life Changes, explains Rhett’s college haze, marriage, and excitement towards starting a family. This song was the perfect fit for the album name, as it lays out the change of setting, mind, and emotions that someone can experience. While the verses are personal to Rhett’s life, the chorus offers a more general look at change. “Ain’t it funny how life changes, you wake up ain’t nothing the same.” I feel like November first was yesterday, but it’s now November 21st and almost a month away from Christmas. Days fly by when you have a schedule. Those new days bring unexpected people or events that can change your perspective or direction. I believe that is what Rhett thought when he wrote that specific line. Next, he sings, “You can’t stop it, just hop on the train.” There are many times where it may seem better to freeze time and stay in a moment forever, but that’s not what life is about. Or, at least, should be about. The chorus ends with “Life changes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.” What a great line to end a chorus with; he knows that change is bound to come and that every instance happens for a reason (“a lesson or a blessin’,” as I say) and decides every day to “hop on the train.”
Country songs make the best stories. I don’t care if you like country music or not, they tell amazing tales that show vivid images. They have relatability; words that touch on the daily grind of work, the ups-and-downs of relationships, and joy from care-free experiences or people you love. The reason Life Changes is a good coming of age story is because it touches on different aspects of life without an overwhelming dump of examples. He sings about the confusing times in college, starting a family, and how the opinion’s of others can get in the way. These images are relatable or will be in the future. Most of us look forward to graduating college (if you haven’t already), finding that particular person, and starting a family. Rhett touched on all these aspects in a catchy, upbeat narrative.
Why is it a “Must Listen?”
It doesn’t matter if you are the biggest fan of country music or not. Life Changes is a catchy song that shows a variation of Rhett’s country background, with a new spin on pop. It is a soul pleaser. I love this song ever since I first heard the low, solo guitar intro. The lyrics are easily relatable, and everyone likes songs that are personal and can be applied to their own life. While I haven’t gone through the uneasiness of graduating college, getting married, or having kids yet, I have gone through indecisiveness, relationships, and felt life’s imminent changes. That’s why I love this song. Imagine the windows down, cruising on the road, while jamming out to the sing-along verses; then comes the chorus that is sung a little louder because you’ve felt the pain, joy, and confusion that has come with disrupted plans. Thomas Rhett does a fantastic job at sympathizing with the masses while displaying his personal emotions and experiences. If you’re looking for a classic, feel-good vibe song, look no further than the title of this blog. Although this song reigns as my favorite tune, Life Changes as an album is spectacular. The production, recording techniques, and genre-twists are sure to make a hater of country re-think their position.
[photo from John Shearer/Courtesy of the GreenRoom]