The short version: While not a disaster like his pre-‘Life Changes’ material, “Look What God Gave Her” nonetheless finds Thomas Rhett beating a long-dead horse.
- Writers: Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, J Kash, John Henry Ryan
- Rating: 4/10
The long version: Thomas Rhett’s well isn’t running dry anytime soon as far as commercial relevance is concerned, but artistic quality is a different story.
At this point, you can expect the bulk of Rhett’s material to focus on either his wife specifically or his family. In fairness, it’s a much better fit for him than his meat-headed “bro” material. Even Rhett’s recent singles like “Sixteen” and “Life Changes” showed a huge leap in quality by working in details specific to his life.
But this is ultimately mainstream country music. If something works, the powers that be will beat this dead horse until its ghost comes to buck them right off. As such, while Rhett’s new single, “Look What God Gave Her” isn’t among his worst material, it’s still an unfortunate step back in quality as a whole.
Unlike Life Changes where Rhett’s production had improved measurably, “Look What God Gave Her” unfortunately feels like a leftover from the Tangled Up album. The electric guitars are bright and create a nice upbeat, dance-worthy vibe, but they’re also incredibly watered-down and gutless as well. This of course isn’t helped the percussion that’s way too loud in the mix or the weird mixture of acoustic guitars and snap tracks that appear during the bridge. It’s a weird mix that sounds clunky and unflattering despite it matching the lyrical content fairly well.
Unfortunately, production isn’t this song’s only Achilles heel, and this brings us to the lyrical content. Let’s put it this way – instead of calling it “Look What God Gave Her,” let’s just call it “Die A Happy Man: Part 2,578.” As mentioned before, Rhett has returned to this well time and time again, but at least he did it with more flavor and personality than this. “Look What God Gave Her” is a shallow track that lacks any unique details. It’s also another unfortunate song in mainstream country music that “celebrates” women in the wrong way.
The woman described here has about as much life in her as a mannequin, as all that’s really described about her is the way she looks instead of her other attributes. Even then, there’s not much here. The song tries to blend in religious elements to give it a unique angle, but all it does is present this song with an ugly framing (this woman wasn’t made just so you could ogle her, Rhett!). And then there’s the actual hook, where the only real reason the narrator is thankful for his woman is because of the metaphorical junk in her trunk. It’s an unfortunate step back for Rhett that shows him regressing back to a mixture of his bro-country and Tangled Up days.
Granted, Rhett never comes across as douchey or with any bad intentions, and his usual charismatic delivery may be the only worthwhile element of this entire track. He’ll never be mind-blowing on a technical level, but he admittedly comes across with admiration and a love-struck attitude that makes this song not feel as shallow as it is on paper.
As someone who enjoyed seeing Rhett mature and grow with his last album, “Look What God Gave Her” is an unfortunate step back to some of his worst elements even if it’s not his worst song. The lyrical content is hollow at best, and while you could argue the track is meant more for simply something to dance to (because it is), you can do a lot better than this.