Thomas Rhett is getting ready to release his fourth studio album, Center Point Road, next month. The album, named after the Tennessee street Rhett grew up on, is nostalgic for Rhett, in every way.
"For me, Center Point Road really symbolizes what it was like to grow up in Hendersonville,” Rhett said of the record, referring to his Tennessee hometown. "First dates, first football games, first heartbreak, first kisses, success and failures. I really feel like that road shaped who I am today, and it felt fitting because the record, for the most part, is pretty nostalgic. Songs like 'Almost,' 'That Old Truck' and especially 'Center Point Road,' really describe who I was as a kid and teenager, and who I’ve become as an adult."
One of Rhett's favorite tracks is also his current single, "Look What God Gave Her," which Rhett co-wrote with several other writers, including his own father, Rhett Akins, about Rhett's wife, Lauren Akins.
"On this one, I just got back to why I wanted to make music in the first place – and that was writing great songs," Rhett said of the tune. "This is one of those records that every time I listen back to it, it still feels new."
Rhett and Akins met in elementary school, and even though they were young, the singer had an idea early on that they would end up as husband and wife.
"In my head, I was about 13 – I think I said it at church camp one time and got rejected," Rhett said of the song. "But, probably not until I was about 21 or 22 years old did it really sink in, and I knew from that moment that I was going to marry her. She didn’t know for a long time, but I did in my head, and it was really cool.”
Rhett and Akins wed just as his career was taking off, so she deserves at least some of the credit for his success, especially since she is the one who approves of the songs he records.
“She is the ultimate gauge," Rhett admitted. "If she didn’t like a song, it more than likely means that 70 percent of the female population are not going to like a song, which is a big percentage. And so I’m always playing her songs. Lauren is a person that when she listens to a song, she is strictly listening for feeling. Not that she doesn’t care about lyrics, but if you can get her to love a song within 15 seconds of the song starting, she’s on board with it.”0comments
Center Point Road will be released on May 31.
Photo Credit: Getty / Taylor Hill