Brett Kissel – What Is Life?

Brett Kissel - What Is Life?



4.7/5 Pros

  • Really good and versatile country songs
  • Very personal atmosphere - opening & closing track

Some fifteen months after his previous album, Now or Never, Brett Kissel is back on with an album. On 9th April 2021, the Canadian country artist is releasing What Is Life? I have been really curious to listen to his new music.


Brett Kissel – About The Artist

I gave a couple of faczs abouut the Canadian counrty singer in my review of Now or Never. The album’s success has been rather average and peaked 43rd in the Canadian charts. On the singles side, the album however featured three successful tracks. She Drives Me Crazy did not make it to the Top 10, but still gained a platinum record. On top of that, Drink About Me and A Few Good Stories reigned the Canadian country charts from the peak position.


Brett Kissel – What Is Life? – Track by Track

The 14 song album lasts 35 minutes.

1. What Is Life? – A Perspective

Brett Kissel starts the album in a very special way. He speaks to the listener about What Is Life and about the recent experience he made about that with his family. That’s indeed a personal way to open an album. I absolutely aprreaciate it.

2. Make A Life, Not A Living

Make A Life, Not A Living has been one of the singles before the album release. No doubt, Kissel does this song in style. A Good listen new country tune.

3. Die To Go Home

I am typically not that that much into these praise-the-simple-country-life songs. They often feel stereotype to me. This one, however, is a beautiy. It starts with Kissel leaving home at the age swearing he will never go back to this simple life. The reply by his parents is – according to the song – a lovely one:

Eighteen, careless, wild, and reckless
Stars in my eyes
They tried to tell ya
“Man you’ll miss the simple life”
Just like gravity
Tugging at your soul
You’ll pray to leave
But you’ll die to go home

4. From Aria (Interlude)

Tiny Aria Kissel is having some presence in Brett Kissels album as well – and even if it is just a some twenty seconds interlude. I feel it is a good match to the introductoty words at the beginning of the album. Thus, I like it.

5. Down To Earth

To get right back down to earth
Way out where the good things grow
There ain’t no roots in that downtown rodeo
Sometimes you gotta put in the work
Tip it on back and get right back down to earth
Soak up that full-moon high
Find yourself lost in a never ending sky full of stars, feet in the dirt
Let’s giddy-on-up and get right back down to earth

The fifth song is another real beauty. Powerful, straight – and good lyrics. Nice modern country song.

6. Better Bad Idea

When Brett Kissel sings again and again I can’t think of a better bad idea and the guitars are playing their riffs to it – you just cannot argue against the talent of Brett Kissel and the strength of his songs. Many excellent ones so far.

7. Night In The Life

The bass is causing a slack vibe, while the guitars do finest country rock. This song comes with very differnt parts and different moods. But I really love the plot. It does not feel artificial or made up. Good one!

8. From Leo (Interlude)

Okay, if you don’t know the Kissel kids yet, they have their stage time. This time, it is Leo.

9. Everything In The Rearview

All the good, the bad, the tears, the laughs
The bitter and the sweet
All the time we lost in parking lots
Those memories still run deep
It’s as part of me as my heartbeat
And the ink in this tattoo
So here’s to everything in the rearview
Everything in the rearview

The ninth song is a bit softer, a bit more emotional. But it is still mid-tempo. Again there is good melody and really good lyrics. Brett Kissel is doing really good so far.

10. Slidin’ Your Way

Slidin’ Your Way is more groovy and is a bit more traditional with Southern touch. Lovely song to sing-a-long – either on your next country music party or when Brett Kissel is on stage the next tme. Nice contrast to the other songs so far as well.

11. Without

Without has very strong ryhthmic elements at the beginning. Even if they fade a bit with the chorus, the song has a bit of a pop song touch. Again, it is a song I can imagine really well on a summer party

12. From This Day Forward

Are you really surprised if I told you that Brett Kissel can do piano ballads with some strings in the background? And that he does it in style and the song is not too kitschy? I am sure you’re not. Enjoy From This Day Forward.

13. From Mila (Interlude)

Sorry that I think about a volleyball cartoon if I read the first name Mila – but here is Kissel family, young generation, part III.

14. Kindness

Kindness feels like a recording right from the living room. Ain’t that a lovely finish after the very personal beginning of the album?


Brett Kissel – What Is Life? – Spotify

Here is What Is Life? on Spotify:


Brett Kissel – What Is Life? – My View

Brett Kissel is doing great in What Is Life?. The album starts special, it has a special ending and the songs in between are great. The album is definitely a must-listen – there was no doubt that I have to put the Top Pick! banner on top.


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