Album Review

BRELAND - Cross Country

Defying genre divide, a promising newcomer makes a diversified debut

Holler Country Music

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Genre-blending, singer, songwriter and rapper BRELAND made his mark early on with several high-profile concert appearances, various marquee name collaborations and, most decidedly, an unapologetic attitude that helped establish both credence and conviction.

That forthright approach comes further to the fore courtesy of his highly anticipated debut album Cross Country, a set of songs that demonstrates BRELAND’s ability to generally ignore any preconceived stylistic parameters and dabble freely in an array of diverse genres, be in pop, hip-hop, gospel or country.

Granted, that collision of sounds and styles might appear unwieldy, but given the double meaning implied in the album’s title, BRELAND deserves credit for his bold and, admittedly, brash approach.

It manages to mesh well in most cases, and while one wouldn’t necessarily think of superstars Ingrid Andress, Mickey Guyton, Thomas Rhett and Keith Urban as the most eager collaborators — at least conceptually — the symmetry that’s shared is surprisingly smooth throughout.

BRELAND himself mostly acts for an affable approach overall, be it album opener ‘Here For It’, the tellingly titled ‘Country Line’, the upbeat anthem ‘Praise the Lord’, or simply the sincerity that shines through both ‘For What It’s Worth’ and the spunky sound of ‘Growing Pains.’

Taken in tandem, it’s practically pop-perfect. It’s indication of that fact that once BRELAND breaks into the big time, it will be because he managed to do it his own way.

7/10

Cross Country is out on Friday 9th September via Bad Realm Records / Atlantic. You can purchase / listen to the record through Holler's selected partners below:

Holler Country Music

Bad Realm Records / Atlantic | 2022

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