Tangled Up [Bonus Tracks]

by: Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett had hits off his 2013 debut It Goes Like This, but Tangled Up, its 2015 successor, feels like the album where the singer/songwriter comes into his own by borrowing moves from fellow country bros Florida Georgia Line and Sam Hunt. Rhett wrote for FGL -- specifically, the hit "Round Here" -- but Tangled Up is by no means as aggressively macho as that duo. It capitalizes on Rhett's soulful streak -- strip away the 21st century consumerism and "Die a Happy Man" easily could've come out of Muscle Shoals in the late '60s -- and also his humor and his allegiance to good times that don't necessarily come from either a honky tonk or a sports bar. Rhett displays an omnivorous cultural appetite that shows he's a millennial: underneath his acoustic guitars are lightly looped beats, but he's also just as likely to push disco to the forefront, as he does on "I Feel Good" and a title track that's happily a glitter ball throwback. Rhett may switch on a Totally '80s Flashback weekend when he's chilling out, but he's a modern guy, dropping passing allusions to Guns N' Roses and Third Eye Blind, hoisting Solo cups filled with Bud Light Lime and splashes of liquor in coconut water, aware that his excursions in neo-disco may bring Michael Jackson to mind but they also sound a bit like Sam Hunt or the Weeknd. By playing both sides of the fence, Rhett may be a bit of an opportunist, but as his hit "Crash and Burn" indicates, there's a sly charm to his eager-to-please modern country: he's a true pop artist, harnessing the trends of his time and turning them into music that's hard to resist. [A 2016 release of Tangled Up added five bonus tracks.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.