Turning “16” has been a big deal in pop and rock since the early days of Top 40 radio–“Only 16,” “Sweet Little Sixteen”, “16 Candles” (the song and the movie).
It worked for Johnny Burnette with “You’re Sixteen” (1960) and again in 1974 when Ringo Starr’s cover version hit number one.
And now, 28-y/o Country star Thomas Rhett, continuing his string of consecutive hits, tells all in “Sixteen,” his take on the importance of getting a drivers license at 16, being old enough to smoke and vote at 18, to be of legal drinking age at 21, and, at 25, of a contented life with a loving wife and a dog.
Thomas Rhett’s father, Rhett Atkins, is a top-notch, well respected Nashville songwriter and Rhett fils is in the family business: he’s got a deep voice, can carry a tune and he’s very good at writing story songs that vacillate between inspired and cliché, delivered in an over-the-top nasal twang.
His concepts are high but his lyrics are not.
Now that I can drive, finally feel alive, but I got this curfew
Sneakin’ in late, smelling like my girlfriend’s perfume
People talk about college and knowledge and that’s alright
But all I’m thinkin’ ’bout is an unsupervised Saturday night
Now I’m twenty five and I’m drinking wine with my wife at home
Got a couple of dogs and a couple of songs on the radio
And we sit around and we laugh about how we used to be
When all we cared about was turning sixteen
Believe it or not, “Sixteen” is #16 on this week’s Country chart!