Album Review – Brett Young’s Self-Titled Debut Album is Music Nyquil

brett-young-self-titled

So you’re walking into a bar looking to get yourself a nice drink. You walk up to the bartender in the mood to try something new and ask for the best new beer he’s got. He says sure thing and hands you a glass full of supposedly great new beer. You take a drink and immediately spit it out, exclaiming to the barkeep this is just warm tap water. He insists it’s great and flavorful. This is Brett Young and his music in a nutshell and the bartender is Big Machine Records. Young’s first two singles “Sleep Without You” and “In Case You Didn’t Know” bored me out of my mind, so I wasn’t going to be surprised if there were more of these type of songs on his self-titled debut album. But I held out some hope maybe he gives us something interesting. I can say after listening to this album that isn’t the case.

Somehow every song on this album is a snooze fest like the first two singles. I thought Chris Young’s I’m Comin’ Over would be the most boring, toothless album I would ever talk about on Country Perspective. But Brett Young (no relation of course) somehow has managed to deliver a more vanilla album and I wrote an entire rant of how much I’m Comin’ Over bored me. It’s truly amazing how safe this album is and how it stays as far away as possible from anything remotely risky. It’s like Young looked at Chris Young, Brett Eldredge and Martina McBride and challenged himself to make music more boring than those three combined. And I understand why these artists make such bland music. It sells really well and resonates with a lot of people, which I respect your right to choose to listen to this music. But I don’t understand how you can listen to this when almost anything else is more interesting to hear. You’re probably wondering why I’m not breaking down the tracks by now, but there’s absolutely no point when every song sounds the damn same. Each one fails to stand out and makes me wish I was listening to anything else. At least Sam Hunt pisses me off with his music. This music from Young makes me feel nothing.

Brett Young’s self-titled album is something that has happened and exists. I will not remember it and will only listen to it again if I need help falling asleep because sleep aid is this album’s most useful trait. What’s worse is the success of sleepy music like this will only encourage more artists to play it super safe and never take any risks. If people are happy and content with hot dogs, why bother with serving up prime rib? It’s much easier and cheaper. As long as something sells major labels don’t give a flying shit whether it’s good or even interesting. Brett Young’s self-titled album makes for great commerce, but terrible art.

Grade: 3/10

 

Recommend? – No

Album Highlights: None

Bad Songs: None

Wallpaper: The entirety of this album


Review – Brett Eldredge’s “Drunk On Your Love”

One of the lyrical trends in pop country this year that really draws my ire is songs where males compare their affection to females with being high/drunk. It’s not an interesting way to describe your infatuation, and it’s certainly an overused trope ever since Ke$ha’s “Your Love is my Drug.” Brett Eldredge’s new single is aptly titled “Drunk On Your Love,” and I’m sure you can connect the dots of where this is heading. We opted not to do a full review of Illinois because the album was rather bland and uninteresting, but reviewing the singles released from the album will suffice.

“Drunk On Your Love” doesn’t even try to be original or different. Eldredge co-wrote the song with Ross Copperman and right away the clichés begin pouring out. “The second she walked through the door, I caught a buzz. One taste from your lips knocked me out just like a drug.” All Brett Eldredge wants to do is continue to feel this high from her touch and her love. There’s no attempt to bring any sort of natural story to this song. It’s like a teenager who just discovered the effects of drugs and alcohol and lost his virginity all in the same night. Then he decided to write a song about it. Simply put, the lyrics are stupid, simple, and childish.

Perhaps the most obnoxious thing about “Drunk On Your Love” is the constant repetition of words in the chorus. “Now I know why, why I’m feelin’ so high, high ’cause I’m still drunk, drunk on your love, on your love.” Nearly every other word gets echoed because the hook is terrible and there needed to be some inflection or effect added so it could stand out to listeners. There’s a unique, yet intriguing production to the song, though. A percussion sound of hand drums mixed behind a sort of accordion sounding ring certainly helps the song stand out among the hip hop influences of most songs. However, on top of that intrigue are random pops and sound effects that still turn “Drunk On Your Love” into an overproduced, non-country mess. This unique pop production was chosen because something in this song needed to stand out among the crowd for it to be a radio single contender.

I liked Brett Eldredge’s debut album. “Raymond” is a wonderful country song, and I’m quite fond of “Beat of the Music.” Bring You Back had just enough quality to instill some hope that Brett would carve his own path. Only now do I realize how naive I was to think that. Illinois as a whole is a sophomore slump in album quality with “Drunk On Your Love” joining “Lose My Mind” as a leading example of that slump. Here’s just another stupid, boring song to add to mainstream country’s over saturated pot of crappy pop songs.

Grade: 1/10

Review – Canaan Smith’s “Love You Like That” is a Calculated, Boring Song

Newcomer Canaan Smith is trying to find his place among the diluted crowd of solo male acts in country music. Smith’s debut single, “We Got Us” charted poorly, but a follow-up single and new EP has a few spotlights on Canaan Smith. He’s earned himself an opening slot on Dierks Bentley’s Sounds of Summer tour, he’s written a few songs with the likes of Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Cole Swindell, and Smith’s current single, “Love You Like That,” is slowly climbing the charts, floating around the top-15 mark.

“Love You Like That” is your average, mid-tempo love power ballad. There’s nothing noteworthy in the production of this song. It’s a generic electric guitar riff complemented with a banjo, a drum loop, and a faint ring from a steel guitar. The drumbeats are the most prevalent instrument on the whole track. The solo of the song is not even that interesting or different from the rest of the song. Safe doesn’t even begin to describe the production of this song. However, the content of the song draws ire.

The lyrics of “Love You Like That” are a calculated, cliché-ridden pile of junk. Smith wrote the song with Brett and Jim Beavers, and it’s almost as if they were working off a work sheet provided by Mercury Records: Answer these questions right, and you’ll have a summer hit!

Question 1: What famous singer do you name drop? “steady as a Tom Petty track.” Good job. Tom Petty hates us, so we’ll gladly include him in another country song.

Question 2: What time of day are you and your love together? “All night ‘til the sun comes back.” Perfect answer.

Question 3: Do you compare this love to alcohol? “stronger than a fifth of whiskey…..sweeter than muscadine wine.” Oh! Two booze references, you get extra credit.

Okay last question, how does this girl know you’re a country boy? “I could never do it like a pretty city boy. I’m more a fishin’ in the dark nitty gritty boy.” Excellent! And more bonus points for a name-dropping a famous country song in the process. Congratulations, Canaan Smith. We may have a spot for you in the revolving door that is country radio one-hit wonders.

Overall, “Love You Like That” is just a boring, uninspired country love song. Not one ounce of creativity was put into this song from the production to the writing. It’s not terrible and there are certainly worse songs that have been released this year. Yet, the song is far from good. I’ll be shocked if Canaan Smith doesn’t crack the top ten soon with this song, which is astounding to me that a boring song such as this appeals to so many people.

Grade: 2/10