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Brett Eldredge, ‘Mean to Me’ [Listen]

Mean to Me
Warner Music Nashville

If Brett Eldredge is trying to become country music’s next great romantic, it’s working. ‘Mean to Me’ is his follow-up to back-to-back No. 1 hits. Make it three straight love songs for this Midwestern Romeo.

‘Don’t Ya’ and ‘Beat of the Music’ were flirty in comparison to this tender love confessional. There’s little in the way of instrumentation to protect his honest heart. Lyrically, Eldredge and Scooter Carusoe have penned one long metaphor.

If mine could be the name that changes yours / The wine in your glass / The swing on your porch / The dollar in your pocket / And the peaceful in your sleep / Then I’d be what you mean to me,” Eldredge sings to close the first verse.

‘Mean to Me’ isn’t as strong melodically as his previous two releases from ‘Bring You Back,’ but this is without a doubt his most effective lyric, perhaps since ‘Raymond.’

If I could be the fire in your firefly / The cool in the rain / The spark in your eye / The answer to your prayer / And the faith that sets you free / Then I’d be what you mean to me,” he adds during the second verse.

The chorus hardly lets up — this is four minutes during which you’d be lucky to find some candles and a slow dance partner. Each word shows a new vulnerability. For the first time, those who haven’t purchased Eldredge’s album get to see his soft side.

In a way, ‘Mean to Me’ is Eldredge’s answer to a test brought to him after two successful, but sonically similar songs. He needed to go in a different direction or risk boring his fans, and he did. This beautiful ballad makes him all the more interesting.

Why Fans Will Love It: ‘Mean to Me’ shows a new side of Eldredge’s personality. It’s more of a vocal showcase for him, and perhaps the strongest lyric from his ‘Bring You Back’ album.

Key Lyrics: “The lights down low / Dancin slow / Oh, if falling’s how you feel / And perfect is what you see / Then I’d be what you mean to me”

Did You Know?: Eldredge has already begun writing for his next album. He told Taste of Country he’s preparing to record, but there could still be another single from ‘Bring You Back’ after ‘Mean to Me.’

Listen to Brett Eldredge, ‘Mean to Me’

Next: See the Top 40 Country Songs of June 2014

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