Brett Eldredge’s “The Long Way” Solidifies Pop-Country Status

First Luke, then Thomas Rhett… Now Brett Eldredge, too, is going contemporary country.
As heard on Miss USA this month, the production of the second single from his self-titled third album, due in August, makes it sound like a pop song. Check out the synthetic guitar! Feel the waves of keyboard! There’s a bit of twang near the end, but as I discovered at his live show in London last year, Brett Eldredge is a pop star working in country, not a country star going pop.
The chorus puts the girl in the hot seat: “Take me the long way around your town” is the hook. The second verse builds on this, as Brett asks to know about the fields, her family and everything about her. “I want the secrets you keep, the shine underneath,” he intones romantically.
The key lyric of the song is in the bridge (or the middle eight, between the second chorus and the final chorus): “Didn’t think…I’d be falling for somewhere I’d never been.”
Brett is taking the long way ’round this year, as his tour bus follows that of Luke Bryan. There’s a reason that Eldredge worships Frank Sinatra and other great voices: the fact he can write ‘em (he and Matt Rogers wrote “The Long Way”) as well as sing ‘em makes him one of the most talented folk in country music. Or do I mean pop?