HomeMusicReview: Brett Eldredge's Self-Titled Record Has Very Few Diamonds in One-Dimensional Rough

Review: Brett Eldredge’s Self-Titled Record Has Very Few Diamonds in One-Dimensional Rough

One of the most anticipated country music albums of the summer is Brett Eldredge’s new self-titled album. With all of the buildup, fans were expecting an album that amazes, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite hit the mark.

Most artists try to produce records in the same vein as they have before with a similar sound but with a step forward, an attempt to evolve as an artist. Sadly two thirds of this album is one dimensional and consists of songs we have heard before. The album is, in one word, fine. The songs are all the typical mellow tempo singer songwriter tunes. Maybe the expectations were too high. Fortunately, there are a few redeeming tracks to pull us listeners back in.

The question remains: where does the album succeed and where does it fail?

If you want a typical Brett Eldredge song there are many you can choose from: “Love Someone,” “Haven’t Met You,” “Brother” “Superhero.” Take your pick; all of these songs are average and are completely lacking that wow factor. “Superhero” not only is lacking a pop, but it also is actually just peculiar. The song has a great build in vocals and has a vibe you can jam to but that build seems to just disappear in the chorus. When you’d expect the song to pick up, Eldredge sings a strange vocal line that takes things off the deep end and it doesn’t work. With a voice as powerful as his, he has the ability to vocally crush anything presented to him so it leaves the listener scratching his/her head and wondering why he chose to ruin the song with the chorus.

So where is the album different? “The Reason.” If you have ever listened to Brett Eldredge before you know that he has an old school crooner/rat pack vibe. “The Reason” is the track where he showcases that classic vibe. This is the song you want to sway with your lady to in the kitchen at the end of a long day. It’s a small win on the album but I still want more from him.

Love songs are the bread and butter of Eldredge’s career. “The Long Way” is very cute and very reminiscent of Eldredge’s older songs. Not surprisingly it is in line to be one of the singles from the album. The only reason this song doesn’t really wow me is it sounds like something we’ve heard before. It’s a blend of the musicality behind “Time Well Spent” and the lyrics of “Signs,” songs from previous Eldredge albums. His voice is soothing and this song tells the story of a man learning about his love, where they came from, who they were and are. While this song is totally listenable and will be a hit, it’s something we’ve heard before.

Speaking of singles, the first single from Brett Eldredge is “Something I’m Good At.” It’s a lighthearted fun summer song and has spent a lot of time on country radio. It’s one of the fastest tempo songs that Eldredge has ever released. The song builds, has crazy crescendos and has more dimensions than about six other songs on this album combined. It’s a bit different from things we’ve heard before which makes it a wise first single choice; it gives fans something new to draw them in.

Lucky for listeners, “Something I’m Good At” is not the best track on the album. The final third of the record is where Eldredge finally regains my attention. The songs that win the album for me are “Heartbreaker,” “Crystal Clear,” and “Castaway.” This is what I wanted and have come to love from Eldredge- these are songs you can jam to, party to, sway to, relax to, and be impressed with. The songs aren’t boring. Eldredge doesn’t reinvent the wheel or himself with these tracks but they don’t sound like something we’ve heard before.

Verdict- the album is worth giving a shot, even if it is only for a few tracks. Overall it’s about a 6.5/10.


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