A born crooner, Brett Eldredge goes for some jazzy country tones on “The Reason,” the most-obvious connection to Glow, the record which precedes this self-titled collection. While most artists strive to copy trends at mainstream radio, Brett Eldredge hasn’t often followed the beat of that drum. His albums have always featured a strong dose of emotional ballads and personality-infused tracks. Take this album’s lead single, “Somethin’ I’m Good At” was a risky choice for Eldredge after a string of 6 #1 hits from his first two albums (Bring You Back and Illinois) but it had to be done because it allowed fans to hear his personality a wee bit more than on earlier records while allowing his enormous vocal talent to shine (there are parts of the track where his voice modulates, not an easy thing to do as a singer).
Longtime collaborators on the project include co-producer Ross Copperman, Heather Morgan and Tom Douglas and they are joined on this project by newcomers Matt Rogers, Jordan Reynolds and Andy Skib. (Reynolds and Skib both provide production for a couple of tracks on this self-titled effort. “No Stopping You” (which was co-written with Douglas and co-produced by Skib), puts a passionate vocal melded to an ethereal 80s new age-like melody. It’s a gorgeous production and is one of many tracks that scream potential hit. The other new collaboration, “Castaway,” is a lyrical gem set to a simple Paul McCartney-like lyrical melody.
For all of his crooner tendencies, Brett still knows his way around some crowd-pleasing, radio-ready fare like “Love Someone,” “Heartbreaker” and “Superhero.” the first pair are conventional in that they feel like they could’ve been hits in any era from 1980 to now while “Superhero” is defiantly different. It’s wholly contemporary as Brett sings about being the guy who wants to be the man who can save the day, like superman. The chorus is funky and different. And that’s totally ok.
“Crystal Clear” features a calypso feel to it but smartly omits cliche-filled percussive instruments often used in such kinds of songs. over all, there’s an uplifting feel to the track. “Cycles,” with lyrics about that point of a relationship where a couple keeps going around and and cannot seem to get off of their merry-go-round. These songs perfectly sum up Brett Eldredge as both an album and an artist. They show off uplifting, spirited personality juxtaposed with emotive balladeer. As his career evolves, Brett Eldredge has figured out what makes his music get even better and better: Personal vulnerability mixed with passionate performances. These are both something which Brett Eldredge is packed to the gills with.