Luke Bryan seems poised for the big time.
Just a few years ago he arrived on the scene with a country party sound. He was singing like a guy that was still hanging out in the college towns playing for kids and looking for a good time. He’s kept that spirit alive each spring with his spring break EPs.
On his full length albums Luke has been maturing as an artist and as a person. On his sophomore set he moved to a more romantic and adult setting. The songs on the second record remained fun while leaning a bit more toward the serious side.
Now with his third album Luke is taking things even more toward the adult life subject matter. It’s a nice change of piece and just a natural reflection of where Luke is in life. It’s actually interesting to see Luke age on these records. The content on [easyazon-link asin=”B005D4SMZI”]Tailgates & Tanlines[/easyazon-link] shows the natural progression we all go through in life. It’s a great album with something for all the good country folks in the audience.
Here are my thoughts on each track…
Tailgates & Tanlines – Luke Bryan
With his third album – [easyazon-link asin=”B005D4SMZI”]Tailgates & Tanlines[/easyazon-link] – Luke Bryan is ready to become a headlining star. The album has already debuted with huge sales numbers. It’s a big step for an artist to take things to the superstar level with the third album. Luke is moving away from the college party themes of his early releases and making the natural progression into adult life.
The overall feel of the song is a little on the slow side. It makes you feel like you’re sitting on the porch thinking about life and the people in it. There are a few little shake ups like the opening track – also the first single. For the most part this album is a great reflection of a country boy growing up and becoming an adult.
Another interesting aspect is that Luke gave a little leeway on the writing on this record. He still co-wrote the majority of the tracks, but let a few other songs come into play. That’s another sign of maturation I think as Luke chooses only the very best songs available for this album.That and life is probably getting a little busy for him so he might not have time to write as often.
It’s a great album and should take Luke even further in terms of success.
1. Country Girl (Shake It For Me)
This was the big single to kick off the album. It’s already in the top five and could reach the top spot soon. The song was a big change for Luke. It drifts into the pop world, but Luke makes it work. He mentioned on CMT Crossroads that he knew there would be a little criticism for the song, but he wanted to write and record it anyway. It’s one of those tracks you can’t take too seriously. It’s about having fun. Just have a little fun.
2. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
This track is cool. It’s uptempo with some electric guitars. It’s a nice change of pace from the previous track. The song is about all the things that go wrong in a relationship. They make great lovers, but everything else is way wrong. It’s time to move on. There is just too much wrong with this thing. They stay together for the night, but then it’s over. Time to move on.
3. Drunk On You
Everybody is going to remember the boom boom line from this song. It’s catchy. It’s something Luke Bryan does really well. He knows how to make these lines turn into really catchy hooks. There are tons of instances on this record and this track is one of them. There is a little get together out in the country. The drinks are out. The tailgates are down. There is love in the air. It’s a great country summer song. Look out next spring for this to be a single. A bit song for 2012.
4. Too Damn Young
This song sounded familiar and it turns out the track was recorded by Julie Roberts a few years ago. It’s a great country song. It moves along slow, but allows the listener to really paint a picture. It’s about young love and how things can change even though you still think about each other from time to time. Back when you’re young you don’t really think about anything except for the moment. You don’t know any better. You’re just enjoying life. And that’s part of the joy of being young.
5. I Don’t Want This Night To End
This track has a little darker of a feel. It’s a little like a throwback to the late ’80s with some Richard Marx or something. It’s a cool feel. The song starts off kind of medium in tempo and soon picks up the pace. It gets you lost in the song just as the two people in the song are getting lost in the night. They’re driving around and getting lost and they don’t want it to end. This is a great track. I could see this one being a single. There’s nothing like it on radio right now.
6. You Don’t Know Jack
On this song the narrator runs into a guy on the street. He’s been through tough times and asks for a little extra change. The narrator just scoffs it off and tells him to go get a job. The guy replies that the narrator is probably right, but he has no idea what’s going on in the tough life of a homeless man. All the things he’s been through. He points out the things the narrator probably takes for granted. It’s an interesting song with some heart. It could be a potential single.
7. Harvest Time
Now, here we go. I like this track. Luke Bryan is at his best when he’s singing about farming and living out in the country. Others can sing about it, but Luke lived it and it comes through on his songs. This is just a groovy track about the good farm life and living in a small town. There is nothing like the early fall. The weather is cooling a bit. The harvest is coming in. The footballs are starting to fill the air and hunting is right around the corner. Man I love this time of year.
8. I Know You’re Gonna Be There
There are quite a few tracks on this record about love. Luke sure must be in love with his wife. This song sees the narrator on edge about a first date. He’s trying to have a few drinks to shake off the nerves. He’s worried about being perfect. He’s nervous about how things are going to go. And then the song takes a twist. It turns out Luke is taking some poor girl to make his former girl jealous. It happens and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. It’s just something that happens. I feel bad for the new girl, though.
9. Muckalee Creek Water
I love that Luke Bryan is a country boy. He loves hunting, fishing, and in this case a little moonshining. There’s nothing wrong with that from where I’m sitting. He’s the man and I love that he sings about it. I believe him when he sings about all these things. There aren’t enough hunting songs on the mainstream radio. I think Luke’s the guy to bring it back to the mainstream.
10. Tailgate Blues
There are quite a few slow tracks on this album. This is another one. It’s about the blues, of course, so it makes sense. The song is about losing a love and trying to get over it. The guy is out sitting on the tailgate thinking about life. He’s trying to make sense of it all. He doesn’t know exactly when it all went wrong, but his life’s on a new path now.
11. Been There, Done That
This is one of my favorite tracks on the record. I like the slow, lonely songs once in a while, but I think Luke Bryan is at his best when he sings about the uptempo parts of life. There is optimism in this track. The guy is over it. He’s moving on. He’s accepted the fact that she wanted him to change. It wasn’t enough for her and now he’s moving on. It’s hard to get to this point sometimes and the guy here has finally made the leap. Good going, bud.
12. Faded Away
This song has that Richard Marx feel again. We got a little taste of it on Luke’s last album, but it’s more in the forefront on this record. I’m not sure why, but the mood of the song really paints a vivid picture. You can see the two lovers as they just enjoy being with each other. Now the memory is fading away and the guy is holding on to the last few memories he can still remember.
13. I Knew You That Way
This track is kind of a cool way to end the set. It’s another slow song – quite a few like this on the album. It’s more evidence that the party boy is growing up. There is a lot of reflection on this collection. I think it’s good, though. Here he’s thinking about all the time he spent with a girl. He remembers all the other things that were going on. This track is really good. I could see it becoming a big hit single.
Download Tailgates & Tanlines by Luke Bryan
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