Album Review: Brett Eldredge – Illinois

You have to give Brett Eldredge credit. He sounds like nobody else in the country format today – and he refuses to play it safe. After having three No. 1 singles from his excellent debut Bring You Back, the singer could very well have returned to that same formula for his sophomore album and simply enjoyed more hits. Alas, just like with his No. 1 celebrations – there is nothing routine about “The Brett Eldredge Way,” as he simply marches to his own…“Beat of the Music.”

Granted, there are moments on Illinois that would be very much at home on his first album. “Wanna Be That Song” continues to showcase the adept touch that he has with a ballad, and “Lose It All” – penned with Brad Crisler and Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson – definitely sounds like a hit-to-be, for sure. Then, you have the evocative and powerful title cut – which sounds like something that Marc Cohn might have included as a follow-up to “Walking In Memphis.” Needless to say, Eldredge knows what he does and does well – and does just that in several places on this album.

Eldredge has been known to take a chance or two, and he does so in many spots here. “Fire” is a musically adventurous track which he handles very well. Ditto that for the funky feel of “Time Well Spent,” which will no doubt please his fan base. Also a highlight is the swagger of “Lose My Mind,” which is one of the most infectious tracks on country radio at the moment. It could very well be joined by the 70s feel of “You Can’t Stop Me,” which features current touring partner Thomas Rhett. R&B definitely has a representation into Eldredge’s musical frame of mind here, and the man lives up to that description. Throw in the romantic vibe of “If You Were My Girl” or the cross-over stylings of “Just A Taste,” and you’ve got an album that is sure to win over more fans to his already-growing bandwagon. Really, the only place the album stumbles is on the uniquely different “Shadow,” which to be honest, I’m still trying to get – with its distortion and weird vibe…but, give him credit for trying something different. At the end of the day, though, Illinois is bound to continue to ensure that Eldredge’s star keeps rising – and considering his very rich talent, that’s a good thing for artist and industry both!

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Brett Eldredge New Album Illinois

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Illinois track list:

  1. “Fire” – Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite
  2. “You Can’t Stop Me” feat. Thomas Rhett – Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, Heather Morgan
  3. “Lose My Mind” – Brett Eldredge, Heather Morgan, Ross Copperman, Brian Burton, Thomas Callaway, Gian Franco Reverberi, Gian Piero Reverberi
  4. “Wanna Be That Song” – Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, Scooter Carusoe
  5. “Time Well Spent” – Brett Eldredge, Chris DeStefano, Scooter Carusoe
  6. “If You Were My Girl” – Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite
  7. “Illinois” – Brett Eldredge, Brad Crisler, Tom Douglas
  8. “Just a Taste” – Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, Heather Morgan
  9. “Drunk on Your Love” – Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman
  10. “Lose It All” – Brett Eldredge, Brad Crisler, Bill Anderson
  11. “Shadow” – Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, Heather Morgan
  12. “Going Away For a While” – Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, Heather Morgan

Author: Chuck Dauphin

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