SONG REVIEW: Brett Eldredge – ‘Castaway’ (+ Opry Review)


Brett Eldredge is known for his huge, lovable and hilarious personality. That shows in most of his music, particularly his more recent smashes, including ‘Something I’m Good At’. He is someone who likes to reflect himself in his lyrics and sound. Although that sound changes between up-tempo, more poppy vibes, to funky beats or a soulful ballad, that part of him never falters.

I LOVE him for that… And ‘Castaway’ is no different.

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 stayed for a while, till 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, vulnerable emotion, this story is going to hit home to anyone who has the same problem.

“If I got smart, I’d trade my wings for your heart
And I’d promise to never chase the wind
I look up at the moon, but all I see is you
And I’m reminded I need your love again “

As someone who has spent her entire life running from love, or even the possibility, the lyrics not only resonate, they vibrate on the cage I keep around my own heart. Anyone that listens to this track will view it in a way that personally relates to them…it’s one of those songs that even if you think it doesn’t, you will find it hits you hard in one way or another.

Personally, it took me to a place that I keep locked away- even from myself. We run for a multitude of reasons: getting hurt, you’re scared, losing yourself… Question the reason all you like, but we all get to the point, sat alone on our little island and realize you miss love.

“I’d be naive to ever think
You’re at your door waiting for me”

You’ve spent so long running from and sabotaging it, that when you get to that point, you’ve just got to hope that love is still around. I hear ya Brett!

Between the sombre tones, hard-hitting lyrics and shadows of hope, Brett admits that he is ready to be more settled and let love back in.

“Why do I always try to run away from you
Please don’t say a castaway is what I was born to do
I guess I’ll always be lost without you.”

‘Castaway’ is not an over-produced, cluttered song with too many lyrics or musical tricks. It is as it should be; honest, simple and raw. It’s vulnerable and lays well with the way this story should be told. Acoustic guitar, soft piano fragments and pure vocals. The reverb on the vocals throughout, has been hit perfectly and delivers an almost haunting sound at times that honestly, made me cry!

The first time I heard this song, it was live, right here in Nashville in one of the most sacred places in Country Music – the Grand Ole Opry. Brett was on a Wednesday night bill, and nearing the end of his set (which had already been AMAZING), he announces that he’s going to play some new music. As soon as the solo acoustic guitar started and he stood to the mic, the audience was completely captivated. You could’ve heard a pin drop!

It was magical! I was in total awe, my heart hurt and I was fighting back the tears and the huge lump in my throat. Brett’s vocals were completely flawless and drenched in almost heart-breaking emotion. He was completely vulnerable up there, laying it all bare. The silence broke as he finished and he was met with a roar of applause. When it simmered down, I didn’t feel that we had given him enough somehow. He smiled with thanks and closed out with ‘Wanna Be That Song’…. Leaving me with all the feels and just wanting to give the big sweetheart a cuddle!

Brett is no stranger to singing about longing for love, but this beautifully constructed masterpiece has really stolen the show for me. I’ve been through a roller coaster of emotions listening to the song and trying to write this review. Judge it for yourselves, it more than speaks for itself… But I dare you not to be as completely taken with it as I am.

Katie Hutchinson

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