1. Track List (30)

Ticket to L.A. Is A Surprisingly Refreshing Take On The Country Pop Format

Written by camjameson
/ 5 mins read

In the late-noughties, Country Pop had developed into this amazing new frontier that did away with the stigma of Country music’s redneck, Honky Tonk sensibilities, opening the genre up to a more Pop-centric demographic & bridging the gap between the previously niche market & the rest of the music-loving world, especially with Folk & Indie music making such a big splash around 2010; It was suddenly cool to like Country music, leading to many a heartthrob jumping into the fray for one reason & one reason only – Girls. The sensitivity of Country Pop meant all these big burly dudes could flex their stuff whilst appealing to feminine audiences, but this would be their downfall as the scene quickly devolved into a cesspool of generic chord progressions, boring narratives & tired tropes – Then along came Brett Young, flashing an endearing smile & delivering soundscapes overflowing with genuine love & character, turning the industry on its head & giving his contemporaries a run for their money.

Disarming Audiences With Charm & Whimsy

It’d be disingenuous to say Brett Young has come a long way since his self-titled album Brett Young, as he hasn’t changed his tune much from the already spectacular songs he released for his first studio outing, but he’s certainly refined his signature style to outstanding levels of polish. He’s a hopeless romantic through & through, charging forward with his heart on his sleeve in tracks like “The Ship And The Bottle” & turning up the ­‘poor me’ vibes in the fantastically groovy “Where You Want Me,” able to seamlessly play both sides of the coin whilst maintaining a level of endearment that puts a smile on your face whether he’s head-over-heels in love or broken down with depression – Few can capture that same spark, but Brett Young does it wonderfully.

Carrying A Loose Concept From Beginning To End

Concept albums aren’t anything new in the music world, but they’re few & far-between when it comes to Country music. As surprising as it may seem, that’s something that sets Ticket to L.A. apart from the riff raff, its interconnected story weaving through all of the songs on the album & taking you on a journey that convinces you to stay just to see how everything pans out – From the moment “Ticket to L.A.” hits, it’s clear Brett Young is embarking on an adventure of passion that’ll take him far from the city he knows & loves towards a new destiny. He loosely adheres to this storyline, connecting the dots in “Reason To Stay” & “Runnin’ Away From Home,” but he also writes the rest of the songs in such a fashion that they can stand out on their own without feeling disparate from the overarching story, giving his listeners the option of enjoying it all as one big narrative record or a selection of cleverly-worded love songs.

Embracing Sensitivity Without Sacrificing Masculinity

Another factor which defines Brett Young’s Ticket to L.A. is his firm & earnest grasp on emotional sensitivity, delivering his thoughts with as much delicacy as he does sex appeal, perfectly balancing the qualities expected of a man with the attributes the fairer sex wishes men were more capable of – It’s far too common to see Country Pop artists – I’m lookin’ at you, Florida Georgia Line – compensating for their cheery vocal timbres by injecting all manner of raunchiness & urban slang into their lyrics to appeal to modern audiences, but not Brett Young; He rips his heart open on songs like “Change Your Name,” displaying his aching heart for all to see, but he supports this with a headstrong attitude & promises you can believe in, his reliability becoming the overwhelming sex appeal that gives him such a radiant shine.

Possibly Leading Country Pop Back On Track

As majestic as Country Pop was in its infancy, it was quickly derailed from 2015 to 2018 when the genre fully-embraced the Electronic music scene & lost all of its Country twang, bringing about the revival of Red Dirt, Outlaw & Traditional Country sounds, but that doesn’t mean the genre should be thrown away altogether; With painfully heart-wrenching songs like “Don’t Wanna Write This Song,” Brett Young shows that there’s life in the more romantic side of Country Pop yet, so long as you know how to correctly milk it for what it’s worth – With this latest entry, he proves unequivocally that Kane Brown shouldn’t be the rubric by which the genre is standardized, rather Country Pop should aim to be more earnest & inclusive in its songwriting endeavours – Of course, the power of sex is hard to break free from, so his efforts could just as easily be moot given why people get into this genre to begin with.

Listening To Brett Young’s Self Titled Album, You Can Almost Feel The Play By Play Of A Couples’ Romance Come To Life

Written by taylor
/ 8 mins read

Whether he is going big on sound, or instead applying a tender touch to the arrangement, Brett Young’s debut album is a decent effort with enough romantic music to fill a two hour date movie. Whether your in love, or out of it, and mores specifically, trying to rekindle it, then this may be the Country album for you. And on the notion of genre conventions, this album is lighter on Country, closer to a sound that Brett Young creatively calls Caliville than Nashville. Born and raised in Orange Country California, the man infuses a distinctive twang that keep things Country of course, but his light-drawl is not excessive, and he is just as interested in incorporating elements of Pop, R&B, and Rock. In terms of Pop writing, while some tracks fit the market, others have their generic moments, which show the limitations of the Country Pop genre – yet, personally I would much rather listen to an album with this style of Pop over a Bro-Country album which sounds too lame and blowhard to me. That is why Young should be given a chance at the end of the day – as he is not trying to cash in on some overly-cliched sound just because it is trending. In fact, many of the songs on this album were co-written by Young and are thus authentic experiences, where he is singing about what he knows – and in this case, that would mean romance.

After An All Too Typical Start, Brett Young Soon After Impresses With His Vocal Range And Emotion

“Sleep Without You” is the first song to kick of the album and unfortunately, it is exactly the type of arrangement I have heard from countless other Country Pop acts out there. The album’s music consists of songs written between 2014 and 2017, so naturally, this familiar rockin’ club ready melody has been in the water for this era of songwriting, but I am specifically annoyed with the multiple words dished out in a syncopated cadence as Young rides the beat. I ask, why the rush – and in answering my own question, I speculate it is t compete with the artists perception of Pop and Hip Hop fusion songs also popular for their sing-rap emphasis, rather than more thoughtful and emotional lyrical deliveries. The result is that any time Young motor-mouths these phrases, I don’t hear it – or rather, they don’t carry any emotional weight or punch, yet, in the bridge parts of “Sleep Without You”, I instantly cede that Young has such an awesome and soulful voice – so long as he gives it space to soar. Thankfully, the music gets better pretty quickly on track two’s ultra modern and ultra romantic Pop Rock vibe with “Close Enough.” While this song isn’t a game changer or anything, it possesses several noteworthy aspects, starting with the gruffer edged vocals that equate to Young’s emotional singing power, and also the general seriousness of the musical notes, which are not naïve or light hearted, but more promissory, as in, one can trust that what Young is saying is this truth. I especially like the little creative moments where Young and team will squeeze in some chords that are a surprise to the expected structure of the arrangement, and finally, I love the ethereal wailing of the electric guitars for many moments at the track’s close.

Track The Back And Forth Of A Cute Relationship That Is Sometimes Toxic

“Like I Loved You” is not a bad song at all – in fact it’s quite pretty – even cute, but I like the mystery displayed by the patient writing during the better measure parts, while the chorus, which explores how two lovers get caught up on the subject of who loves the other more – though this emotional delivery follows a predictable note pattern as it falls lower and lower on the scale – when a much more appealing option would have been to play with the listener’s expectations a bit here. “In Case You Didn’t Know” is no less predictable, yet, it’s notes don’t all go completely as expected. This track is soft, and probably one of the most traditional Country ballads on the album. Brett Young’s voice is again – so soulful. It’s just that, wow, I feel like I’ve heard this slow jam before many a time – it’s a very familiar pattern. “Olivia Mae” is a great Soft Rock song, with slide guitar and Country sounding parts, all adding up to a well executed song, performed in a safe and comfortable way – with noteworthy harmonies I would add. “Left Side of Leavin’” is sort of hits you over the head with wordplay and metaphor, but I can overlook that, as the song gets the job by balancing expectation with fresh Pop ideas, and modernity with tradition. So we’ve dealt with an amazing amount of relationship back and forth moments, from the feelings of true love to mid-breakup moments, like the wallow in my whisky mid-tempo ballad “You Ain’t Here to Kiss Me.” I think they must have made-up, on the clever “Back On the Wagon”, which mixes straightforward Rock balladry with some cool colorful chord or soul moments, while the text celebrates that their back-and-forth nature is something that they are used to, yet the decision to see each other is very tied up with whether they drink or not. This is a common Country trope, yet Young manages to offer some pretty fresh analogies so that the cliches are a non issue. Lord knows, I can relate to this content though, where sometimes alcohol has seemed like a third party in an on again, off again relationship.

Brett Young Finishes Strong With More Captivating Tales Of Love

Brett Young’s trill vibrato goes full R&B on “Makin’ Me Say’”, making me wonder how he would actually sound on a more specific Soul song, as he obsesses over his lover’s little black dress. The music is lively, danceable, and a little funky, though I do take slight issue with the artist singing certain onomatopoeias in such an emphasized way. If he had just relegated the moans and sexual responses he utters to the last instrumental part of the song, it would have been a total win, but trying to include such hard to pull off language within the chorus areas was a risky, and ultimately lame attempt. This is not to take away from Brett Young’s innate Soul – it is just to say that one leaves themselves open to some ridicule when saying ‘mmm-hmmm’ during their sexy song moments – unless they can really, naturally sell such phrases and cadences. The last three songs are sublime though, starting with “Memory Won’t Let Me”, and finishing with “Beautiful Believer” plus “Mercy.” “Memory Won’t Let Me” masters the digital banjo rhythm explored elsewhere on the album, yet hear, it is of 100 percent quality and 50/50 balance between Country styling and club epic-ness. “Beautiful Believer” marks one of the most beautiful musical moments on the album, with wonderful chords and brief key changes that keep you guessing, while the Rock elements are bold yet never totally surpass the tenderness of the romance, as Young sings about how committed his young partner is to him – always believing in his ability to find the solution. While this last adventure is upbeat and soul stirring, the last song “Mercy” is soul stirring in a different way – stripped down and featuring piano chords and echoing acoustic guitar notes – as Brett Young pleads for his woman to stop calling him when he is drunk to come over – for if she doesn’t really love him, then she should have mercy and tell him. This is an interesting, bittersweet ballad to rap the album up, but who knows – perhaps his reality based romantic story at this point in his life was still uncertain, and as one can now find out by googling about his relationship status, he might have sealed the deal and married his woman, but perhaps for a brief time, everlasting love was not guaranteed.

3. Official (9)

4. Audio (29)

5. Live (29)

6. Featuring Remixes (1)

7. Albums (6)

8. News (3)

9. Covers (151)

11. Similar Artists (6)

12. Artist Info


Brett Charles Young (born March 23, 1981) is an American country pop singer-songwriter from Orange County, California. He was a college baseball pitcher but took up songwriting after an elbow injury. His self-titled debut EP, produced by Dann Huff, was released by Republic Nashville on February 12, 2016. The lead single, "Sleep Without You", was released on April 11, and he had a major success with his following single, "In Case You Didn't Know". He released his second major label album Ticket to L.A. in 2018.
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