Song Review: Thomas Rhett, “Unforgettable”

Is this song just “Die A Happy Man, Part 3?” Yes. Is it good enough that I don’t care? Also yes.

Thomas Rhett’s last single “Craving You” was a bit of a departure from his usual happy material, but the result was basically the same, as it raced up the charts and quickly became his eighth No. 1 song. On his latest track “Unforgettable,” however, Rhett retreats to the familiar sticky-sweet love-song territory that catapulted him into superstardom (“Die A Happy Man,” “Star Of The Show”). While Rhett risks letting his shtick get a bit stale by constantly going back to this well, “Unforgettable” might actually be my favorite song of this romantic trio.

The production here is a nice mix of modern and traditional sounds, with an acoustic guitar carrying the melody and an unobtrusive synthetic beat keeping time, with both electric and steel guitars lurking quietly in the background. The mix is much more restrained than “Craving You,” with only a slight swell from the verses to the chorus (not even the guitar’s bridge solo stand out much), but the quicker tempo and bright guitar tones give the song more than enough positive energy to cover the volume deficit. It’s a much more fun-sounding song than Rhett’s previous ballads, and it’s a nice change.

Vocally, Rhett plays it very safe with his delivery, and avoids stretching his range while offering a solid-but-methodical flow. He doesn’t exhibit the sheer romantic power of “Die A Happy Man” or the wondrous amazement of “Star Of The Show,” but instead comes off as more playful and energetic while still maintaining his reverence for the object of his affection. It’s a good look for Rhett, and he’s got the charisma and earnestness (especially on this subject) to pull it off with aplomb. He not only sounds like he’s having fun, but he also passes those good feelings on to his listeners as well.

The thing that stands out most about the writing is the level of detail involved, as the song revolves around a single vignette that tells the story of how the the narrator and his significant other first fell for each other, which the singer still remembers after all this time. It features a lot of novel and specific imagery (doing the Running Man, guessing middle names, etc.) that don’t pop up too often in the genre, and the whole thing comes off and cute and endearing (even if that Mang-O-Rita name drop feels like blatantly obvious product placement, given that Rhett is currently a Budweiser spokesperson). It’s not particularly deep and won’t make people swoon like “Die A Happy Man” did, but it’s inoffensive and suits the fun vibe of both the production and the vocals.

Overall, “Unforgettable” continues Rhett’s impressive run of single choices, as it’s a catchy, enjoyable song that sits squarely in his wheelhouse. It may not have the impact that “Die A Happy Man” did, but it will certainly keep Rhett’s among the current top-tier artists in the genre today. We’ll see whether the song ends up being truly “unforgettable,” but the early returns are promising.

Rating: 7/10. Check this one out.