AOTY 2022
This was one of the most pleasant surprises I've heard all year! The potential that Rhett shows as a country musician is very strong, as his melodies, themes, and lyrical sentiments are extremely potent, memorable, and show quite a bit of character in the through line of the album, delving into themes of religious hypocrisy, crisis of faith, and self-doubt and worth in straying away from his own chosen path to God. I loved a lot of what I was hearing, but I would hesitate to call much of it great, simply on the fact that Rhett seems to show his own novice skill in the scansion of words in a line that sometimes feels awkward, the cliche of some metaphors that he makes within his lyrics, and the overall reliance on common country tropes that make me feel like a few of the songs are ones I've heard before, namely on "Kill a Man" where not only are the outlaw contradictions and the weak narrative a turn-off, but so is Rhett's voice which feels like it's struggling to reach his lower register in a way that negates the beauty of his falsettos and natural timbre of his middle range. Still, overall, this is a beautiful country album with pristine production, melodic composition, and thematic potential, and you bet I'm going to be watching whatever music he releases next.
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