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Thomas Rhett

It Goes Like This – 2013 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett has enjoyed a strong pedigree as a hit songwriter at the tender age of 23. After all, he has helped pen Jason Aldean's 1994,Parking Lot Party by Lee Brice and Round Here by Florida Georgia Line. Not to mention having a father, Rhett Atkins, who has enjoyed both a career as a recording artist and a hit songwriter himself (he also helped write five of the dozen songs). So, it should come as no surprise that Rhett shares a lot of the same clichés as those he has written hits for. He raps (right from the first song, Whatcha Got in That Cup) and rocks, but when it comes to what used to be known as traditional country music, one must search long and listen really hard to find anything resembling that - unless singing (and he does a good job at that, recalling Eric Church) with a drawl fills the bill. Rhett throws in a disco beat for good measure (Make Me Wanna). Or check out hip hopping Front Porch Junkies (Remix), (the original was on an August 2012 EP), and you get the idea of where Rhett is coming from.

It should come as no surprise whatsoever that you're going to hear songs about beer, partying, fishing and good old boys because that seems to be de rigueur for the style of music that Rhett adheres to. A few of the titles - Beer With Jesus, a semi-hit and most traditional song here, Sorry for Partyin' and All-American Middle Class White Boy - all hit you over the head with that point.

Rhett inherits the mantle of those he has penned songs for and is in lockstep with their take on what constitutes country music today. Not to mention another standard of today's acts - the baseball cap, often worn backwards on the jacket's photos. Rhett has soaked up what makes for hit country these days. Too bad he wasn't born in a different time.