Thomas Rhett's Center Point Road is a nostalgic project -- but that doesn't mean there's not plenty of songs about his wife, Lauren Akins. After all, the adorable pair have known each other for decades, since they were in elementary school, and have been together since they were teenagers.
Rhett and Lauren got married in 2012, when they were in their early 20s. Despite some loved ones' trepidation about their marriage -- Rhett's father, country songwriter Rhett Akins, admits he thought they were a bit young to be tying the knot -- the couple found support in another now-country superstar.
“Everybody told him no, this is not what he should do — except Luke [Bryan],” Akins recalls. “He called Luke three or four times, and Luke was like, ‘Buddy, if you’re in love and you want to get married, then do it.’"
Now, the couple has more than half of a decade of marriage under their belts. Rhett and Lauren have also expanded their family to include two adorable daughters, Willa Gray, whom they adopted from Uganda in May of 2017, and Ada James, born later that same year.
Rhett's fans have come to expect for him to sing about his wife -- especially after the smash success of his song "Die a Happy Man" -- and he delivers on Center Point Road, his fourth studio album, which dropped on Friday (May 31). Lyrics of devotion to and reflection on his wife and family run throughout Rhett's 16-song collection.
"I’m still just so proud of you honey!! Even MORE proud of you and who you are and so proud of this super personal, super talented, super AWESOME new album," Lauren writes on Instagram. "It’s such a nostalgic album for me too because I got to live so much of it with you ... Not to mention all the songs written about our family and life today ... What a cool life we get to do together! So thankful :)"
Below, get a listen to five of the sweetest songs on Center Point Road.
Rhett co-wrote "Blessed," the third song on Center Point Road, with Sean Douglas and Joe Spargur. The song is a simple reflection on how lucky he feels to have Lauren in his life: "I can’t count the times I’ve heard / People say I’m lucky / But lucky ain’t the word / Oh, I’m blessed," he sings.
The first single from Center Point Road, "Look What God Gave Her" started out without Rhett in the writing room, "about a month before I ever heard it," he recalls. Rhett's producer, and one of the song's co-writers, Julian Bunetta, played the song for Rhett, and the singer was "just completely hooked."
Rhett adjusted a few of the lyrics in the second verse to make the song feel more personal. Along with Rhett and Bunetta, Rhett Akins, JKash, Ammar Malik and John Henry Ryan co-wrote the song.
While so many of Rhett's love songs for Lauren paint the picture of a dream relationship, "Notice" gets a little bit more real. Together with Sean Douglas, Jesse Frasure and Ashley Gorley, Rhett crafted lyrics that admit, no, he's not perfect -- but he's always noticing the little things he loves about her.
"Yeah, it's been a hard year ... Even when you're with me / Feels like somethin''s broken," Rhett sings in the first verse, before adding in the chorus, "You think that I don't notice, but I do."
Rhett, Jesse Frasure and Ashley Gorley focus on the country star's childhood friends and his darling daughters in this song, too, but Lauren gets her own verse: "Hey darlin’, sippin’ that red wine / All classy, kicked back on the couch /You smile and I see ya shootin’ tequila / Us shuttin’ them college bars down." Oh, young love!
We'll admit it: The penultimate song on Center Point Road really hit us in the feels. Lauren has become a public figure herself as her husband's star has risen, and while he's always quick to gush over her, "Dream You Never Had" -- written by Rhett, Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure and Ashley Gorley -- truly lays out the gratitude Rhett feels for how she's given up for his career.
"I know it's been hard ... Oh, but I couldn't do one show without you," Rhett sings in the chorus. "Crowds have been crazy / But, baby, I'm missin' you bad / Just wanna say thank you / For livin' this dream I know you never had."
Not everyone knows what it's like to live life in the spotlight alongside a famous spouse, but almost everyone can relate to making a sacrifice for someone we love.