Thomas Rhett 'Where We Started' Album Review

Valory Music Co. artist Thomas Rhett released his highly anticipated sixth studio album, Where We Started, on April 1, 2022. The country superstar’s newest release comes on the heels of last year’s album Country Again: Side A, his Center Point Road Tour during the summer of 2021, and the release of this project’s lead single “Slow Down Summer.” Rhett co-wrote all but one of the songs on this record, which shows his continued commitment to authentic artistry.

Much like his previous albums, Where We Started features influences from various musical genres. Traditional country, pop country, country-rock, hip-hop, r&b, reggae, and pop music are all blended to create the unique style that fans of the Georgia native have come to know and love. "Church Boots," "Bring the Bar," and "Simple As a Song" are standout tracks for their fusion of multiple genres and influences. However, there are others where Rhett goes back to his roots and reminds everyone of how country music is engrained into every song he writes. "The Hill," "Angels," and "Half of Me" are songs that are more traditional leaning and would sound great at a local dive bar.

Many of Nashville's most prominent songwriters played a part in creating this album like Ashley Gorley, Emily Weisband, ERNEST, Lori McKenna, Shane McAnally, and the singer's father, Rhett Akins. Where We Started also features collaborations from Riley Green, Russell Dickerson, and Tyler Hubbard with perhaps the most unique contributors on this project being Jon Bellion & Katy Perry. Rhett is no stranger to collaborations outside the country genre as he has collaborated with Ava Max, Jordin Sparks, Surfaces, and Tori Kelly in the past.

A staple of this project is the relatability of the lyrics. Many of the tracks are about love and draw inspiration from Rhett's relationship with his wife, while others are about small-town life, in which fans will surely see themselves. The songwriting standouts of this album are the story songs, specifically "Death Row" which calls the listener to see the similarities between themselves and their fellow people, especially the people considered outcasts in society. The open nature of his reflections causes the listener to think deeply about themselves and other people in a way that many other songs are unable to do.

The release of While We Started kicks off Rhett's busy season, he is hitting the road this summer for his nationwide Bring the Bar to You Tour with special guests Parker McCollum and Conner Smith. He will also be performing at multiple festivals this year, including the iHeartCountry Festival, Stagecoach, and Tortuga.

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