Brett Eldredge’s debut album, “Bring You Back” impresses with a balance of rich, soulful ballads and playful upbeat songs. It accomplishes exactly what this weird, twisted world requires of music, which is, that he created an album that sells to the female audience. When I say that though, I don’t mean only females will enjoy it. I mean, females will be drawn to his songs and velvety voice, because the songs are great and he's lovely to look at. Male fans will be drawn to his songs, because the songs are great, and it's exactly the kind of music they want to play for their ladies and that they’ll enjoy with their ladies. With his songs, he offers the gents words they couldn't come up with themselves to tell their ladies. Thus, he appeals to the male audience, indirectly, through the ladies, if that makes sense. Regardless, there’s a lot of great songwriting on this 12-track debut, 11 of which Brett co-penned.
The lead off track is titled, “Tell me Where to Park,” and it’s an upbeat one, which I think befittingly introduces the album. It's a really fun song. If you imagined the album as an entire concert set, this would be a great opener. Like the other upbeat songs on this album, it makes you want to dance.
"Don't Ya" is No. 1 on the U.S. Country Airplay Chart, and I've been eagerly awaiting for it to hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs Chart. It also went Gold just before this album debuted (that means it sold 500,000 copies). It is just such a fabulous up-tempo song all about the flirtatious games that we play with one another. I love it. It's coy and blunt at the same time.
“Bring You Back,” the title track of the album is the kind of power love ballad that I think all girls want to hear, at some point, from a lover. Brett’s powerful voice executes this song like a desperate love letter that is much needed, whether or not it’s too late. And the balance of the female backing vocals is perfect—it enhances the emotions of the song perfectly.
“On and On” is a feel good song that is sure to make every girl smile. It feels like the freshness of a budding love, when you can’t stop thinking about or talking about the person you’ve fallen for. This song even has a bit of an R&B feel. It's groovy. Am I allowed to use the word "groovy" in 2013?
Coming off “On and On,” “Gotta Get There” is another feel good, chill, kind of love song. It makes you want to slow dance in the sand at a bonfire on the beach.
“One Mississippi” is my absolute favorite song on the album. It’s the kind of soulful ballad that makes you want to fall to your knees as your heart melts, even when it’s the kind of hurting song that is exactly what makes country music, country music. The simplicity of the piano backing it beautifully adds to the rawness of the song.
After Brett weighs down your heart with “One Mississippi,” he lifts you back up with “Beat of the Music,” especially when you get to the chorus, because who doesn’t enjoy “falling in love to the beat of the music”?
“Waited Too Long,” is a heartbreak song about waiting to long to figure out what your heart wants. It’s one that I think most of us experience at least once. The way he belts out the chorus paints the desperateness of this kind of sad realization. Brett's got a really nice texture to his voice that lends the necessary heartfelt emotions to the ballads, and that is just sexy when he is singing anything else.
And once again, after he tugs at your heartstrings a bit, he scoops you back up with a tune like “Mean to Me.” This album is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster isn’t it? But it’s a good one, I promise. “Mean to Me” is like a sweet love letter that you read over and over, and it never stops making you smile.
Then there’s “Signs,” which is an ode to his small town hometown of Paris, Illinois, that’ll touch all small towners that make up much of the country music fan base. As we all know, I am no small town gal, but I always find these songs very charming, and “Signs” is no exception to that. That sense of community makes anyone feel good, whether you’re from Middle of Nowhere, U.S.A., the concrete jungle, or a beach town community on the outskirts of the chaos of bubbling Hollywood dreams like me. It makes you long for simplicity.
“Raymond” was his first single, released in September 2010. It peaked at 23 on the U.S. Country Charts, but I love it. For me it hits close to home, because my sweet grandmother has dementia, but it’s also a beautifully written ballad—very warming. It's the kind of song that belongs in country, because it paints a picture of a particular human experience.
“Go On Without Me” is an uplifting, “I’ve got your back even when I’m not here” type of song--the perfect way to close out the album. Listening to it, it feels like someone is warmly holding your hand. And the way he sings “go on without me” at the end of the chorus is somewhat hauntingly beautiful. The flavor of the song actually reminds me a bit of Needtobreathe, a band I really love. Check them out, too, if you don't already know who they are.
On iTunes there’s an extra track, which is a live version of “One Mississippi,” which I’m happy with, because as I already said, I love this song. In fact I’m not sure when the last time was that I heard such a moving ballad such as this one. Like I said, it’s a hurting song—the best kind of hurting song.
I think what I love most about this album is that the upbeat songs make me want to dance and fall in love, and the ballads make me want to sit so still in time.
I was so happy he got to open a number of dates for Taylor Swift on her “Red” tour. That was well-deserved, and an incredible opportunity for him on so many levels.
So, GO BUY THIS ALBUM!! NOW!!!
BIG LOVE & HUGS