Brett Eldredge is a country newcomer with more talent than fame, but the latter may catch up to him after his new single ‘Don’t Ya’ finishes its radio run. The Illinois born-and-raised singer does all of the little things right on this tightly-produced cut from a long-promised debut album. We’re never blown away by his soulful voice, but we’re made aware of what he’s capable of by the end of a first or second listen. 

Eldredge climbs the scale effortlessly, balancing on words like “move” in the first verse like an Olympic gymnast teeters on the balance beam.

Girl you cut those jeans just right / I know you didn’t buy ‘em like that / So baby don’t even try that / You dance / Oh you move / Like there ain’t nobody watchin’ / But girl you know I’m watchin,” Eldredge sings to open the song.

With ‘Don’t Ya,’ Eldredge builds the tension in the room without relying on overly dramatic instrumentation or animated imagery. His story is believable, but still detailed enough to fill in gaps in color and personality. The melody leads to a great hook in a chorus that never verges on gimmicky.

Don’t lie / You got it all figured out / That smile / Has got me spinnin’ around / Don’t even try acting like it ain’ t no thing / Cause I can see you move a little closer, closer / Girl I gotta get to get to know ya know ya / Everything about you makes me want ya, want ya / (You) Know what you’re doing baby don’t ya, don’t ya,” he asks, eventually over nothing but a kick drum.

Toward the end of the song, the 26-year-old is allowed room to play. The final time through the chorus shows the level of comfort and maturity he has developed at a relatively young age. Eldredge never overpowers the listener — ‘Don’t Ya’ isn’t the place for that — but finds ways to flex his vocal muscle in a way that impresses. It takes a lot more than talent and a good song to get a hit up the radio charts, but Eldredge can sleep well knowing he’s done his part.

4.5 Stars

Listen to Brett Eldredge, ‘Don’t Ya’

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