Brett Young

by: Brett Young

Brett Young doesn't take many chances on his eponymous debut album. He doesn't attempt to dabble in the R&B rhythms Sam Hunt made fashionable, nor does he deign to make a feint toward the bro-country of Luke Bryan -- or the smoldering, slow-burning hybrid of these two extremes that has been the signature of a mature Jason Aldean. Young plays it straight down the middle, favoring soft touches and sweet melodies, never rushing a song and never cranking the tempo. He's not one to party hard, he's a loverman but instead of promising one night of sin, he's suggesting he'll be around to make pancakes in the morning and return your text as soon it's sent. His sweetness seems square, partially because Young is so earnest in his delivery and so committed to a gentle touch -- he seems older than his years. When he does deign to kick up the tempo -- say, on "Makin' Me Say" -- he winds up revealing how Rascal Flatts' Gary LeVox actually does have a bit of grit in his voice. All this means that Brett Young is exceptional comfort music, a record designed for waiting rooms, malls, and housework, perhaps a little love hangover, but it also means that Young seems like a bit part on his own record: what matters isn't the singer but rather the sound. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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