Brett Young’s second album is sure to have even more hits than his first


Last year, I was late to the discovery of an amazing new country singer: Brett Young. With hits like “In Case You Didn’t Know,” “Like I Loved You,” and “Mercy” on his self-titled breakout album, I was hooked. I even went as far as to see him in concert– he didn’t disappoint. With his second and newest album Ticket to L.A., I am positively elated to say it was even better than his first.

When most people hear “country music,” they think of extreme backwater country music like “My Big Green Tractor” and the whole nine yards. What I love about Young’s music is that it avoids all the typical banjo strumming stereotypes and is a more modern form of the genre. One of the thirteen tracks, “1,2,3, Mississippi,” had me worried he had lapsed into the aforementioned backwater style. However, my worries were unwarranted.

His music blends other styles of music into country; most often, he stirs in pop. Occasionally, I got a dash of swing or smooth jazz. I love how this adds another element- almost a whole other layer- to it. It makes Young’s music so definitely different from the rest of the industry.

One such song that I felt that touch of jazz in was “Where you want me.” Without a doubt, this was one of my favorite tracks. When I first pressed play, I was really digging this love song. As it hit the chorus, it was like I got slapped in the face with the words “baby you don’t want me no more.” Rather than a love song, it was a song of betrayal and hurt.

This is also a prime example of Young’s affinity for words. Throughout the entire album, he toys with words, composing creatively clever concoctions. I thought metaphors were just for books and writing until I listened to “The Ship And The Bottle” which was one beautiful extended metaphor. Moreover, Young’s inventive use of language put an interesting twist on “Change Your Name” which made it stand out to me.

Another reason I’ve become such a fan of Young’s music is that not all songs are not just one category, such as ballads like the previously mentioned “Change Your Name.” Young’s music encompasses everything from those slow, soulful songs to fun, upbeat songs that make you want to dance.

Let me tell you, “Used to Missin’ You” makes me want to dance. When its strong open played, I immediately started doing that “I wish I could get up and dance without drawing weird looks” groove. The beat was infectious. This song just might be my very favorite on the entire album, but there are so many bops, I can’t quite say for sure.

In many of Young’s songs, he is telling stories; Young excels at this. He sings an array of love songs: first meetings, falling in love, falling out love, and “I want you back” songs. Yet, Young also sings songs about his life.

An amazing track about his childhood and young years, “Chapters,” features Gavin DeGraw, Young’s idol. DeGraw is in no way a traditional country singer, but it gave it a different feel in a good way. It was almost gospel-esque at the end in a very DeGraw way.

Secondly, this track was so meaningful. Despite him being all rich and famous now, this song is relatable in a way that other artists simply fail to achieve. It was all about growing up and learning as you go. The words crashed over me like a tidal wave and forced me to think about life. Some of the lines that really got me are “There’s no perfect life/ You can’t hold back time” in the chorus and “It takes time tryna get it right/But every future has a past,” sang by DeGraw.

Furthermore, Young’s voice has this unique ability to grow and fall with the music. His dynamic voice grows powerful and soft at just the right parts. It made me connect more emotionally with the songs. While this is showcased in all his songs, his wavering voice in “Don’t Wanna Write This Song,” in particular, was so passionately devastating that it built a bridge of sympathy to connect me to the song.

Although Ticket to L.A.  contains a large collection of tracks of different types and meanings, they all had a sense of cohesion. I think they fit together because they all have a similar sound, even with some written in minor keys and others in major. I don’t think that this factor was in any way a bad thing. It is like the glue holding the album together.

Needless to say, I am loving Brett Young’s album, Ticket to L.A. I would recommend this album to all country fans and even some pop fans who like their music to have a new flare to it. I only wish I could see him in concert again because these songs hadn’t been released when I saw him.