Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Brett Eldredge – Wanna Be That Song

JUKEBOX TRIVIA TIME: The first nu-Jukebox mention of He Who I Still Can’t Bring Myself to Name was this horrifying image from 2010


Thomas Inskeep: A grand, “inspiring” love song made of generic lyrics and music, sung equally as generically. Eldredge has yet to particularly distinguish himself from the current slew of country men, and this does nothing in that regard. 

Juana Giaimo: Someone should tell him that this generic song can’t be the one that “gets you high, makes you dance, makes you fall.”

Crystal Leww: The verses feel like filler until we get to that swell of a chorus, which isn’t even all that good. Eldredge’s voice is warm and inviting enough but doesn’t quite get to his peers’ swoonworthy quality, which is necessary for songs like this.

Megan Harrington: Eldredge, who is very publicly and inconspicuously campaigning for his place among the Bill Murrays and Eddie Vedders in celebrity Cubs fan legend, de-personifies himself here in a way that is nothing short of mystifying. He could aspire to be someone’s partner, their confidant, their shoulder to cry on, or the love of their life. Instead he aims lower — favorite song. Does he mean he wants to make that song? There’s nothing here to suggest that’s a question worth puzzling over. Good luck, man, hope you get a seventh inning stretch. 

Katherine St Asaph: What this gains in applicability — holy shit, a girl in a country song who’s not explicitly blonde! Nix the sundress and the blithering barefoot “carefree”-ness, and you’re almost describing a real woman! — it inevitably loses in distinctiveness. It’s the country-songwriting version of a cover letter: read the formula, replicated the formula, insists anyway with anodyne assurance that it’s the one.

Josh Langhoff: As nakedly careerist manifestos go, not bad! It’s like Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs” without the nobility, or Sherwin Williams’ “Cover the Earth” without the environmental impact statements. Kind of surprising that this song has reached people who aren’t the singer’s dependents; but then, so did Donald Trump’s “I Alone Can Fix It.”

Alfred Soto: The frog in Eldredge’s larynx croaks ever louder, and the guitars got prettier, but his yearning doesn’t stray from the pro forma. Does Eldredge himself wanna be that song?

David Sheffieck: This could stand to borrow some of Bob Seger’s grit, if not in Eldredge’s vocal then at least in the overly tasteful production. But in the lyric, the universal specificity of the scenarios Eldredge details — the bar window booths and the whispered conversations in church pews — he manages to make this work. Maybe he can’t yet be that song, but I absolutely believe that he wants to.

Ramzi Awn: Eldredge wields the fundamentals of country with skill, and his lo-fi take on a vision in a sundress will break your heart. The hook is a leap, but it doesn’t do too much damage.

Anthony Easton: Dull and static, like most other ballads we have heard a dozen times before. Eldredge is always better than his material, but this is a nadir. 

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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