Album Reviews

“Praise the Lord”, Breland’s debut album ‘Cross Country’ is Out Now and we’re “Here For It”.

Breland is a breath of fresh air in the country music scene bringing something different to the genre in the best kind of way.

Kicking the album off with Hear For It featuring Ingrid Andress, you know this album is going to have a good flow of tunes. The tone and vibe alone from Hear For It sets the bar high. The first three songs are energetic and fun with a real “crank up loud” sound. That of course includes the much loved and upbeat Praise The Lord featuring Thomas Rhett. Another track to be played loud and proud is Throw It Back featuring Keith Urban. Much like his single My Truck (which isn’t on this album) , the song has an exciting and fresh new edge blending Hip Hop and R&B with country. I love the vocal stylings that Breland brings to this track.

Natural has a strong, uplifting, honky tonk styled melody to it which will get you dancing away. Told You I Could Drink featuring Lady A is the perfect modern country song and the voices of Breland and Lady A blend beautifully.

Currently single For What It’s Worth is a treat and has an accompanying video. Directed by Alex Bittan, the video was filmed in Texas and portrays the strength, determination, and dedication it takes for PBR (Professional Bull Riders) star, Ezekiel Mitchell who went from teaching himself bull riding by watching YouTube videos to become one of the world’s leading bull riders. His inspiring story has similar parallels to BRELAND’s career in music who has just been nominated for the CMA Awards Musical Event of the Year (‘Beers On Me’ – Dierks Bentley with BRELAND & HARDY).

Of the video Breland says “Before shooting the music video, I had only peripherally been aware of PBR and wouldn’t have been able to imagine what these athletes endure in the spirit of competition,” explains BRELAND. “Learning about Ezekiel and his unusual path to PBR instantly reminded me of myself and the bridges I’m trying to build within country music. I loved the filming process because I mostly just got to enjoy a thrilling new sport, but I also got to know an incredible young talent that is shifting people’s perception of bull riding. I’m excited to see where and how our paths cross again, but grateful to have such a budding star like Zeke represented in this video.”

“It was a shocker to be asked to be in a music video for a super vocally talented artist who I’ve followed on TikTok,” says Mitchell. “My cousin’s daughter loved ‘My Truck’, and I’ve listened to that song a million times plus ten. BRELAND is an African American artist thriving in a genre not particularly dominated by African Americans — a parallel to my career, I guess you could say. It’s just really cool to be involved in this project, and everyone was incredible to work with. I sincerely appreciate being part of it, and I hope it helps to continue to push PBR into the mainstream.”

Don’t Look At Me with its more funky/90’s rock edge is incredibly infectious.

The more mid to down tempo and ballad styled songs are really beautiful. Those songs make you really listen to the lyrics more and Breland certainly has a talent for relatable and meaningful lyrics. Growing Pains for example hits hard because it’s a song about having those days where you don’t quite feel happy in yourself but remembering to love yourself and then others will and that what you’re feeling is growing pains. I would love to hear this song live and acoustically.

I’ve been working on the words I choose and how I see myself
Cause if you can’t see the good in you then how can someone else
Sometimes I still have those morning when I can’t get out of bed
Then I remember everything that I believe will manifest
Mama told me days like this will come
And that when they do don’t let them break you none

Happy Song, another mid to down tempo song has a strong R&B feel to it but is still so very modern country. The song is very anthemic. Another song that would be amazing live, this song is award worthy. It screams CMA performance and I can imagine a special collaboration on it at some point. Written with Ryan Hurd, Sam Michael Sumser and Sean Small, perhaps a collab with Ryan Hurd isn’t too far fetched? It is definitely a highlight of the album. Another R&B infused track on the album is its closer Alone at the Ranch. The riffs in Breland’s voices are reminiscent to that of Prince in places. This song is sensational, another 90’s vibe to it. A timeless classic in the making.

Good For You is a gorgeous, simple yet perfect ballad. The acoustic guitar accompaniment stands out wonderfully showing that sometimes, less is more. This song really showcases the beauty in Breland’s tone and the passion and emotion in his voice. It’s a painfully sad song.

But tell me, what good is being good at everything if I’m no good at loving you
And what good is doing everything I’ve ever done if I never did what I promised to
Cause now I know being good ain’t good enough if I never was that good for you
And darling

Cross Country is one of my favourite songs that have been released in the last few years. It is such a stunning song vocally and sonically. The lyrics as sampled below, are real and raw. I like the addition of Mickey Guyton on the album version as she is of course a breathtakingly good singer but I do have so much love for the original version which was just Breland but perhaps that is because I heard that version first?

Cross Country is a fitting title for the album because of Breland’s journey which he tells the story of in the title song.

I tried to fit in but didn’t, I’m different, yeah, I know (know)
The houses I stayed in were great but they never felt like home (so)
I’m going cross country
I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong
I’m going cross country
Know they might judge me, I ain’t gotta prove ’em wrong
‘Cause I know it’s okay to be in my own lane
When I’m doing what they said can’t be done
I’m going cross country
I won’t stop running ’til I find where I belong
(Where I belong)

Well, you definitely belong here Breland and we can’t WAIT to see the even more positive affects you have within the genre and the music industry as a whole. Breland is one of a kind and potentially a super star. His music can go way beyond country music as he is somewhat a genre within himself as he is creating a whole new style and we are here for it!

Cross Country is an album full of hit songs that could all easily be released as a single. Upbeat tunes to stunning ballads, Breland can do it all flawlessly. The album is brilliantly produced, beautifully written and full of breathtaking songs including collaborations with phenomenal artists such as Lady A, Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Mickey Guyton and Ingrid Andress – making it an even more exciting album which will appeal to a wide audience. The high calibre of artists involved proves just how respected and loved Breland is as an artist and this is just the beginning. Imagine where he will be in the next few years.

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