How many times have I heard that in the last year and a half? Plenty, let me tell you. And hey, it was probably true. Brett Eldredge didn’t deserve to be lumped in with the worst perpetrators of crimes and misdemeanors against country music, many of whom were at the heart of the Bro-Country movement. But that is what has been so sinister about this new trend emerging in the sun setting of Bro-Country. The new sexy R&B era (or Metro-Politan if you will) takes no prisoners, and there doesn’t seem to be a male country artist in the mainstream immune to its sway.
It’s like a bad teen summer zombie movie where the protagonist is running around his hometown, and one by one all his friends are slowly turned into flesh-eating monsters until he’s the last one standing with any sanity. Eli Young Band? Of course, what do they have to lose? Gary Allan? Sure, why not. Brett Eldredge? He’ll go along with it too apparently. At least Bro-Country felt like a country music subset. This new Cancer threatens to permeate every corner of the genre.
As the first single from his currently-unnamed sophomore album, Eldredge dons an expensive suit and does his best Justin Timberlake impression as he sips on a Scotch and lets the impossibly-hot Rachel Hilbert playing nurse feel him up. Because what could be more country than that? Oh, and there’s a song mixed in there somewhere too called “Lose My Mind.” It’s about a hot girl that’s so hot it makes him crazy. By the end of the whole exercise, Brett Eldredge isn’t the only one requiring a straitjacket and padded room to keep from hurting himself or others.
Eldredge skirts just above the worst of this new R&B and EDM trend by avoiding clearly electronic beats. But the presence of claps and snaps, some deftly-hidden digital zings and zangs, and slightly urban annunciations on certain phrases still can be marked as faux pas for the country music realm. That’s really the story of “Lose My Mind”— finding subtle ways to sell a total Timberlake Top 40 hit to country radio without really getting on the wrong side of the wrong people by making it too obvious. Strip the track all down though and it still has all the earmarks of country gone urban.
Written by Eldredge with Heather Morgan and Ross Cooperman, this lyrics aren’t particularly offensive as much as incredibly pedestrian. This is a dance song. And whenever you see one of the writers credited as a producer, which “Lose My Mind” has with Ross Cooperman, you know it’s all about maximizing a catchy melody in the chorus and focus-grouping the hell out of every decision until you have a hyper-single almost certain to crest at #1. It’s not coincidence all of Brett’s last three singles have reached #1 on country radio.
This is what’s happening to country radio right now ladies and gentlemen. Labels and producers are falling all over themselves to rush out these R&B-style country hits in hopes to capture the commercial windfall of the trend before it evaporates. Many don’t even have a parent album or a plan of what to do next. And despite Brett Eldredge’s track record, charm, how nice he is in his fans, or how well he cleans up in three piece suits, he’s just another hamster spinning on a wheel with this one. About the only redemption this song and video could have offered is if Los Straitjackets busted out of the walls like the Kool-Aid guy and started throwing down some mean surf guitar. Call me crazy…
1 3/4 of 2 Guns Down.