REVIEW: Brett Eldredge (Self-Titled Album)

LifeInASong_UK

**Disclaimer: I’m a fan of EVERYTHING Brett Eldredge- from his music, to his crazy fun personality, Edgar Boogie! and his relationship with BFF (and guitarist) Greg! If you don’t already, you HAVE to follow him on all social media platforms- GO…RIGHT NOW!!!**

Anyway, back to the point…

The long anticipated, self-titled 3rd album from Country music’s biggest sweetheart, is everything that we dreamed of and oh, soo much more! Released on August 4th 2017, the album shot straight to Number 1 on the iTunes all-genre sales chart. The 12-track project, whic includes the released singles ‘Love Someone’ and already reviewed ‘Somethin’ I’m Good At’ and ‘Castaway’, in my opinion is his best work to date!

‘Somethin’ I’m Good At’ was the first single release from the album, on February 24th 2017. We are well versed with Brett’s ‘ode to love’ back catalogue, with a few funky numbers such as ‘Lose My Mind’ thrown in, all wrapped up and delivered in a very ‘Michael Buble’-esque’, country infused package.

If there was ever a song to reflect his personality it’s this. He took a chance on one heck of a crazy, catchy, unpredictable and fun tune… all the things that make Brett who he is. The verses see him describing everything he might not be so good at, but the chorus focuses on what we all have come to know and love him for… his insane ability to make people smile.

A light-hearted, upbeat, radio-pleasing story of love at first sight… ‘Love Someone’ takes you from the initial, take your breath away meeting, through to being completely in love with someone and understanding why they are everything you want/need.

“I look at you and I understand
Sure feels good to love someone”

 ‘Superhero’ has a 1980’s inspired sound, a quirky chorus and sees Brett faultlessly using his entire vocal range.

“I bet some guy gave her that frown,
I’d love to turn it around…
Oh, that girl needs a superhero”

The leading lady throughout is someone who is described as having been hurt by a guy, is clumsy, is trapped, helpless and looking to be saved and he sees himself needing to be the superhero that steps in. Literally sweeping her off her feet…

‘Walk up to her, pull her in real close
her broken heart ain’t a thing no more”

“Here I come to save the day”

“Oh… I’m stepping in”

As little girls, we watch Disney and read fairytales and are raised with the image of a Prince Charming coming to save us in our hour of need… as much as I LOVE this song and agree that there comes a point where we all need a superhero, I just have to throw a curveball in here and question, why we are programmed to believe that it has to be a man that will save us? I am down with old fashioned, traditional gender roles and respect that people are still made that way, but why can’t a girl be her own superhero? Why can’t she save herself?!

Now on the flip side, we have ‘The Reason’ which has Brett talking about needing a woman to save him.

“There’s only one person in this world
that can save me from myself…
So I pick up the phone, pray that you’re home
I’m all alone”

With the cabaret bar piano sound, this song instantly reminds me of Michael Buble’s ‘A Song For You’. Its relaxed vibe draws your attention to the lyrics and his story, that we can all buy straight into.

In another stereotypical metaphor, we have a man drinking in a bar ‘telling fairytales’ and ‘pouring whiskey in wishing wells’ feeling sorry for himself. Men and women alike, often find themselves at the bottom of a bottle, talking to a bartender and telling them all their troubles. I know I have! We then make that drunken phone call, knowing we probably shouldn’t, hoping that the person on the other end is going to tell us what we want to hear.

Brett has openly described this project as his most personal work to date:

“It’s way more in-depth from a perspective of where I’m at with love and with heartbreak. It’s just another level of my personality and melody and lyric,” Eldredge says. “I’ve never gotten this deep before, and I’m excited to go this deep.” – Liv Stecker (theboot.com)

He is no stranger to writing and sharing his feelings on love and relationships, but this album, for me, is something totally different. Anyone can write a love song, heck they can write a bunch, but it takes something special to put together a body of work like this.

That said, he hasn’t been alone in working this, he has worked with collaborators on both writing and production including Tom Douglas, Ross Copperman and Matt Rogers to name a few.

My personal favourite from the album is a track I have already reviewed as a single release. ‘Castaway” is Brett’s self-confessed ‘letter to love’, and what a letter it is! A message in a bottle, written to love, straight from his heart and tossed out into the ocean of his fans. Brett is such an authentic artist and ‘Castaway’ is a self-confessed, honest look at his relationship with love.

“I tried to fly, but I ran out of sky
And I fell straight down into the ocean.
Then I rode a wave back to the shore
and I stayed for a while
Until I got tired of being lonely.”

A simple, yet powerful opening to this heartfelt ballad. You can read into the metaphors that run throughout the song, or you can just see the black and white truth on the page. Bursting at the seams with raw emotion, this song is going to hit home with anyone that has the same problem.

The vulnerable masterpiece, is not overproduced or cluttered. It is as it should be; honest, simple and raw… Between the somber tones, hard-hitting lyrics and shadows of hope, Brett is admitting he is ready to be more settled and let love back in.

This is not the only slower paced, simplistic ballad on the album. ‘Cycles’ is the time old tale of the guy that gets too close to that one person and runs away when things start to get real. However, she can’t stay away and he can’t say no to her. She’s that one person he can’t live with or without.

The entire album is about love, but not just boy meets girl. It’s about loving yourself, the journey of love, loving a significant other, loving your family and just…loving love.

‘Brother’ reflects Brett’s relationship with his sibling and what they have been through together. I love that this track has made it on to the album, as it is so refreshing. I have a brother myself, who is my best friend and he has been the one constant in my life (aside from my parents). Your siblings are the people that just love you for you, all of you. No judgement, no questions…they just do.

“In the end, always there for each other,
Oh Brother, when I couldn’t see
You always found a way to believe in me.”

I could go on forever and pick every single track apart to give you my opinion… but I honestly think, that this is one of those albums that needs to be experienced for oneself.

There is not a single song on this body of work, that I don’t LOVE… Brett and his team have officially outdone themselves.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…. I’m going to go and put this 12-track masterpiece on repeat…LOUDLY!

Katie Hutchinson

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