Personnel: Brett Eldredge (vocals, background vocals); Andy Skib, Ross Copperman (guitar, keyboards, programming, background vocals); Kris Donegan, Derek Wells (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Jordan Reynolds (acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming, background vocals); Brandon Hood (electric guitar); Dan Dugmore (lap steel guitar); Tom Douglas (keyboards, background vocals); Jason Lehning, Jeff Roach, Dave Cohen (keyboards); Ian Fitchuk, Fred Eltringham (drums); Heather Morgan, Micah Wilshire, Matt Rogers (background vocals).
Photographer: Michelle Laurita.
One of the appealing things about Brett Eldredge -- maybe his chief attribute, really -- is his easy touch. Eldredge never pushes a lyric or melody, a signature that nicely melds with the cool soul undercurrents that run throughout his music. This attitude and sound gelled on Illinois, the 2015 sophomore set that produced the chart-topping hits "Lose My Mind" and "Wanna Be That Song," but Eldredge refines it further on this eponymous 2017 album. If anything, Brett Eldredge showcases the singer's softer side more than its predecessors. Sure, there are moments where tracks get overloaded and oversaturated with guitars, beats, and more -- "Love Someone" opens with an avalanche of rhythm that settles into a singalong chorus; the hooks on "Superhero" are punctuated with electronic whoops and churning six-strings; the first single "Somethin' I'm Good At" rattles with a big, stomping beat and a stilted rap -- but Brett Eldredge's heart resides in the quieter moments. A lot of this gentler material is of the romantic persuasion, but what lends the album depth is how he'll take a detour to pen a mash note to his brother, a song that earns its sentiment through telling details. His love songs may not be quite as incisive, but they're well-crafted, from their melodies to their sumptuous productions, which borrow as much from soft rock as they do from modern R&B or country. Such fusions sound as appealing on the sunny pop tunes as they do on the ballads, and that is why Brett Eldredge succeeds: It's a smooth, easygoing good time. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine