By LJ VP LaFiura – Sports Editor
The calendar’s turn to April signaled the release of “Where We Started” by Thomas Rhett. This album is true to its name, combining his roots and some of the modern flair of his early albums.
“Where We Started” spans 15 songs and is just over 46 minutes. While this is a pretty standard length, the order of the songs made it feel about two or three songs too long.
This new venture for Rhett started strong with “The Hill.” This song reaffirms many values he has written about in the past, especially since he turned back towards a more mellow, traditional country sound. Like much of his new work, this song is full of the influence of his father’s ballads from the 90s.
The album then jumps between more country-pop, like “Anything Cold” and his modernized take on the 90s country sound. Particularly “Anything Cold” and “Bring the Bar” are perfect for those who like modern drinking songs and artists like Walker Hayes and Russell Dickerson (who are featured on another track).
This album starts in its back half, where country-pop becomes less frequent, and we get into the singles. In “Death Row,” Rhett, Dickerson, and Tyler Hubbard recount the time they gained perspective by meeting inmates in the titular location. “Death Row” would undoubtedly be the defining song on any other album if it weren’t for the charting hit “Slow Down Summer.” This song boasts a catchy melody and nostalgic imagery that gives the song tons of replayability.
The biggest problem with this album is its track order. The two biggest songs in the back half of the album would be described as an oversight at best. Looking at the rest of the album, the way the tracks weave between the different styles feels like a producer put a playlist on shuffle rather than curating the tracks.
This album boasts two of Rhett’s best songs but ultimately fell flat due to production choices. Had the tracks flowed better, these songs would have the power to make an elite album.