Review – Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn”

Thomas Rhett Crash and Burn

Oh how I’ve waited to talk about you Mr. Thomas Rhett. With the site approaching its first year anniversary coming up, I noticed that neither Derek or myself have yet to review something produced by Rhett. Well I guess you could count “Small Town Throwdown,” but he was only a featured artist and not the main artist. So this is the first time I’ve had a chance to formally review a Rhett song. I’m just going to get this out of the way upfront: I’ve disliked every single song Rhett has released. Nothing about his career has impressed me. Rhett, just like Cole Swindell and Chase Rice, has cashed in hard on the bro country movement and became a bigger name in the process. Many in 2013 rightly took aim at Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night” and Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here” for being absolutely horrible songs. But Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That” deserved just as much scorn and it never got it, despite being at the same level of terribleness as Bryan and Shelton’s songs.

Fast-forward to present day where bro country is now pretty much dead in the water. Surprisingly showing good foresight, Rhett has seemed to move away from bro country and turned to a different sound. The problem is this new sound may just be as bad as Rhett’s bro country sound. Rhett is now making R&B infused, Bruno Mars-type songs. In fact he released a cover of Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” and has spoken in great length in interviews of how much he idolizes him. For almost any genre, this is a good thing to hear from an artist. Mars is undoubtedly a talented artist  who not only makes smash hit songs, but smash hit songs with great quality. Just look at “Uptown Funk,” which has been THE song of 2015. I’m a huge fan of Bruno Mars. There’s a problem though with Rhett adapting Mars’ style into country music: it simply doesn’t work.

Case in point: Rhett’s new single “Crash and Burn,” the lead single from his new upcoming album that just came out. The Mars influence is palpable throughout the song and it sounds awkward as hell mixed with the sprinkled in country instrumentation. The production is messy and all over the place, despite the chorus portion of the track being quite catchy. This will no doubt hook a lot of casual listeners. The song itself is actually good. It’s about a man who continues to let romantic relationships fall apart, but realizes as another door closes he learns another lesson. The song has a decent message with a good hook. I really have no problem with the songwriting on this song, so kudos to Chris Stapleton.

Now I’m going to get to why this song ultimately doesn’t work: Rhett himself. You give this song to Bruno Mars, take out the awkward production, replace it with Mars-like production and you have yourself a mega pop hit. I would also enjoy the hell out of it. Rhett’s version of this song is terrible because Rhett does not have the charisma and soul of Mars to pull the song off. You need a high energy singer with great chops to make this song great and Rhett simply doesn’t have that. I feel like the instrumentation swallows his voice on this song. You notice everything else on this song before Rhett’s voice. This is by design of course because the catchy beat is what will pull in gullible casual listeners. They don’t care about the fact that this song isn’t country in any way possible.

The cold, hard truth with “Crash and Burn” is this is just another attempt by country to hawk sounds from other genres in a desperate attempt to win back the temporary cross-over popularity it had with bro country. Don’t give me this crap about country music evolving. Changing the genre sound completely to the point where you can’t tell it’s country music anymore is not evolution. Artists like Rhett say it’s evolution because it’s the laziest and most brainless excuse you can trot out. Their fans and the corporate country outlets eat it right up too. When it comes down to it “Crash and Burn” is a song in the wrong genre performed by the wrong artist. Many will applaud this song for being different, but I jeer it for the poor excuse it is to make pop music and label it country. You should do the same too.

Grade: 0/10

51 thoughts on “Review – Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn”

  1. Raymond April 7, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    Oh Thomas why can’t he go away. Beer With Jesus Get Me Some Of That Make Me Wanna It Goes Like This his debut song and now THIS!! Bruno Mars has more charisma stage presence and persona then Thomas Rhett which btw like his pals Cole Swindell and Chase Rice FGL and Luke Bryan have none of. Honestly what’s this guys appeal I really don’t get it. I have yet to hear this yet since my music is usually radio & Youtube but best to avoid cause this guy is still a talentless clown. If you wanna evolve country music the Top 60 Airplay chart actually has examples of modern sounding songs Brothers Osborne Stay A Little Longer which I wonder what you guys think of Jana Kramer I Got The Boy Cam My Mistake Gloriana Trouble Eric Paslay She Don’t Love You Maddie & Tae Fly Mickey Guyton Better Than You Left Me Josh Turner Lay Low all exceptional and modern sounding songs honestly I can’t wait till he eventually he washes out one can only hope.

    Grade 0/10. I don’t even hear it to know it’s god-awful. This makes Kelsea Ballerini pop influenced music look good that shows how bad it is.

    Oh Josh I heard one of Brad Paisleys old hits Whiskey Lullaby with Allison Krauss. I wonder what you thought of it.

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    • TheKnightsWhoSayNi May 11, 2015 / 3:44 pm

      The “comma” button on your keyboard is right under the “K” button. Just in case you couldn’t find it.

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  2. Derek Hudgin April 7, 2015 / 1:27 pm

    Perhaps the title of this song will be a prediction of Rhett’s career? Doubtful, but it’s a fun thought to have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lorenzo April 7, 2015 / 5:47 pm

      I hope it will with a burning passion, I flat out hate this idiot. such a disgrace for country music.

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  3. Zack April 7, 2015 / 5:02 pm

    What truly bugs me is that I know that this will be a hit on “country” radio. Its songs like this, and Sam Hunt’s and Kelsea Ballerini’s and more that are making me give up on the mainstream. If this is where its headed then no thanks. It makes me grateful that I found out about sites like this and I’ve definently had a blast listening to new independent acts that I had previously never even heard of before (The Lone Bellow. Sturgill Simpson, Will Hoge, Drew Holcomb, the list goes on and on…..). Its like Joe Nichols said, if it fits in another genre, then it shouldn’t be classified as “country”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scotty J April 7, 2015 / 5:13 pm

      Yeah I’ve just about given up on mainstream also but the problem with that is with struggles of mainstream country that shrinks the money pool throughout the entire genre and makes it hard for some of the great independent acts to make a real living from their music. It’s easy, and I do it too sometimes, to just dismiss the labels and the larger industry as a whole but they really drive the entire genre. I’ve become very negative on the future of real country music as any kind of major factor in the mainstream.

      Hope I’m wrong but I’m afraid that ship has sailed.

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  4. NoahHibiscusEaton April 7, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    I don’t get it.

    You spent a decent amount of time commending the writing and the theme of the song to a fair extent, and you nonetheless give this a 0/10? It doesn’t add up to me. I feel like the review is honest but the score isn’t.

    For the record, this is mostly a headache to my ears and doesn’t belong anywhere near the country station as it is straight-up pop just like Sam Hunt and Kelsea Ballerini’s latest offerings. But on its own merit, it’s probably a 3/10 song because at least the writing doesn’t get on my nerves.

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    • Josh Schott April 7, 2015 / 6:35 pm

      I probably should have explained my reasoning for the score in the review. I’ll explain my reasoning now though. I wasn’t exactly sure what to grade it when I finished it and I discussed it with Derek. We came to the conclusion to give it a 0 for the fact that it isn’t country in any way, shape or form. It’s no different than Sam Hunt’s music. It’s hard to give a country song any credit when it doesn’t sound country at all. At least that’s the way I interpreted it and felt it should be graded. Either way it’s a -1 on the chart in my book. I can certainly understand why you would you give it a 3/10.

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      • NoahHibiscusEaton April 8, 2015 / 12:46 am

        Oh, I see.

        Well, let me put it this way. For a “country” song, it’s a 0/10. For a song not paying attention to genre, it’s a 3/10 song.

        At any rate, it qualifies as -1 either way you swing it because Thomas Rhett is not a convincing frontman with much stage presence to pull a lot of pop music off either. As much flack as Florida-Georgia Line get and are deserving of plenty of it, they at least have a lot of energy to back up their bombastic production. And while Luke Bryan usuall irritates me, he at least has a decent amount of charisma and his vocal can be strong when he even bothers to put his heart into it.

        Thomas Rhett just has an unpleasant nasal vocal, and he also is utterly unremarkable on stage. Granted he has only released one album so far, so I concede it may be unfair to rush to conclusions about him without first observing era-to-era tendencies………….but this song doesn’t give me a good impression.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Pete Marshall April 7, 2015 / 7:51 pm

    Is it worth it for me listen to this song?

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    • Raymond April 7, 2015 / 8:03 pm

      Depends do you want to torture your ears? If yes go ahead if No then stay away from this garbage.

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      • Pete Marshall April 8, 2015 / 1:04 am

        I don’t want to listen to this garbage so thank you very much.

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  6. KuFan April 8, 2015 / 1:07 am

    What makes it worse is the fact that the opening to this song is almost a direct copy of Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang” as they both have the same opening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bob April 8, 2015 / 7:55 am

      I love Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang” – but I don’t like this Rhett song.

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  7. DimM April 9, 2015 / 7:36 am

    Please don’t review garbage again. We all know what Rhett is able to do.

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  8. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria April 18, 2015 / 10:06 am

    Mr. Schott, I am new to your blog and I am not an expert like you but I can’t understand how the score you gave this song in the review is fair, compared to some other non-country songs being passed off as country songs that you have reviewed. Take Kelsea Ballerini’s Love Me Like You Mean It for instance. As you said in your review of it, it has basically no country influences in it, just like Crash and Burn. But while you did at least compliment the writing and theme of this song, as NoahHibiscusEaton said, you had absolutely nothing good to say about Love Me Like You Mean It, yet you graded it a 2/10 as opposed to a 0/10 for Crash and Burn. If you have something against Thomas Rhett, I completely understand. I hate him too. And if you want to go easy on Ballerini because she’s a woman and there need to be more women on country radio (although you said in your review of Love Me Like You Mean It that you weren’t going to go easy on her) I understand that as well. But I just don’t think those opinions should factor in with your reviews. Let me make it clear that I am defending the mission of this blog, not Rhett. Please reply.

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    • Raymond April 18, 2015 / 12:17 pm

      He doesn’t go easy on Kelsea but here’s the thing she has a pretty good singing voice and some good charisma in my opinion. Something Thomas Rhett lacks.

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    • Josh Schott April 18, 2015 / 12:33 pm

      Well thank you for following my blog. And thank you for being so diplomatic and mature in your disagreement. Not every on the Internet can be so mature in voicing their disagreement, so I most certainly appreciate it. Now as for my grades for these particular songs. I stand by my 0/10 for Mr. Rhett for the reasons I stated. The song is good, but Rhett and the production completely ruin it. Rhett does not have the charisma to pull off upbeat songs like this one. There are other artists in the same boat. Some songs just don’t suit certain artists. Take Gary Allan on “Hangover Tonight,” as it just doesn’t suit him at all and I just saw him in concert last night. The production is completely off on “Crash and Burn” not only because it’s not country in any way, but it should not be upbeat. It’s about relationships ending. That shouldn’t be upbeat. I don’t know why mainstream artists are afraid of doing something real and trying to make everything a party all of the time.

      Now 9 times out of 10 I don’t change grades after I’ve given them out and I especially don’t say it out loud. I have done and have did so quietly. Sometimes I get it wrong because hey I’m not perfect. I’ve actually thought about changing the grade on Kelsea Ballerini’s “Love Me Like You Mean It” before and after you’ve brought this to my attention I’ve thought it over some more. I’ve decided to change it to 0/10 because as you point out it is inconsistent of me to rate it a 2/10 and Rhett a 0/10. There is nothing country about Ballerini’s song and it’s not even as catchy as Rhett’s single. I didn’t practice what I preach either, as I gave her some leeway for being a female artist. Thank you for pointing this out. And thank you again for following my blog!

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      • Lisandro Berry-Gaviria April 19, 2015 / 12:06 pm

        Thank you for changing the grade on Love Me Like You Mean It…that is really nice of you. I’m flattered. You know, this is the only website I’ve ever found that actually gives good reviews on country music. Kind of a depressing thought, but too many people just jump on the bandwagon and support what’s popular, even if it’s pop and R&B crap like this song.
        And thanks for complimenting my maturity. That’s a really great thing for a socially inept 17-year-old like me to hear.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Josh Schott April 19, 2015 / 12:20 pm

          No problem! Thank you for reading! It’s always great to hear people appreciating our work. It means a lot.

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      • Raymond April 19, 2015 / 12:45 pm

        I’ve listened to both and Kelseas catchier I don’t see what’s catchy about Thomas Rhett like what’s catchy in the chorus at least the ” Love Me, Love Love Me is more catchy but I guess like female artists more than others. Explains why Carrie Underwood is my favorite artist

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  9. fromthewordsofbr May 28, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    This song is terrible, and I LOVES me some disco.

    Also, why did he name his song after a quote from that anti-piracy video “Don’t Copy That Floppy”?

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  10. fromthewordsofbr August 13, 2015 / 9:22 am

    My sister likes this song but even she’s confused as to why this song is playing on country radio since it’s clearly not.

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  11. rocknrollrocksout December 2, 2015 / 6:56 pm

    This is my favorite song of the year, unironically. It’s the start of something magical.

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