Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review - Luke Combs - This One's For You

Luke Combs' debut album nods respectfully at the traditional country music scene. And then, he grabs some modern electric twists in his voice and extra electric guitar here and there, just a pinch here and there, like he's testing the waters. He never goes full-out c-rap (country rap, otherwise known as crap), which is a credit to him. He challenges and makes demands, like a real man does, and he doesn't ask any favors on this album. I don't know if we're going to get to keep him in the music scene for long. Honestly, I think his career rests on which song he chooses as his next single. Or which one, more likely, his producers choose for him. Listen to this album like an album, y'all. It sounds like a real old-school album where one song leads so nicely into the next. I'm going to give stars to show you which I believe would be best to hit the radio next.

"Out There"
This is clearly Luke's Jason Aldean tribute. The lyrics are solid, turns out this guy has great range, and the electric guitar hugs ya just right. Honestly, though, it's nothing special, and it feels a little long towards the end. It wants to be a song you jam to, but it's not, though I'm willing to concede that a few listens and you're ready to sing along. **

"Memories are Made Of"
I love it when a song dares to be poetry: "But we did / and we miss / how it was when we were just kids." I don't mean the rhyming, I mean the lines ending in the midst of a clause, which is something country artists are generally afraid to do, and Luke rocks it. This song is still quite a bit Jason Aldean in his vocals - until all of a sudden and quite quite sneakily, he drops in these little vocal trills. Lovely little sneaky guys. ***

"Lonely One"
Oh what a ballad! This one tugs out some George, a little hint of Zac Brown, some Jason, yes, some of its very own heart-throbbing aching. Real in the bar ache. What a fun story-song, too, reminds me of "Let's Fall to Pieces Together," without the actual suggestion that they be miserable together, which is new. I like this guy.

"Beer Can" is fun. We've got our nice little pun. Love me some country puns. I cannot tell you how many times I laughed out loud. "Get to Bein' like Superman" - oh thank you for saying that, my friend. Toss this one straight on a Five O'Clock Somewhere and Margaritaville playlist. Actually, here just listen to it right now. ****

I love this one. There's something about when a singer sings lots of phrases in a row without taking a breath that gets me all in a tizzy. "Moon went hidin, sun quit shining, rain was drivin, thunder and lightnin, you wrecked my whole world when you came." How about that electric vocal  stuff at the end, which didn't actually annoy me, strangely enough. Heh. Weather & emotions, boy do they fit together, yes? Take a quick listen to my rain songs, while you're thinkin' about it.

"One Number Away"
 A triplet waltz! Fantastic dance hall song, fantastic for dancing in the kitchen. Has this topic really not been addressed in a song? Surely it has been. oh, man. This. Aching. "Maybe it's a mistake, hit the brakes on movin' on" ... "said I was thru but I'm dyin."
Please tell me this is his next single. I want to hear it on the radio. Because hearing a song on the radio is hearing it with everyone else who's listening...refer back to about 4 posts ago if you want to hear my argument on that. Anyhow. *****

"Don't Tempt Me"
ooooh steel me.
Drinkin' song. Probably the next single. I LOVE the line "you know these boots ... stompin on a hardwood floor..." A super abrupt ending, but leads into the next song in a FANTASTIC way, like an old time album one actually listens to from beginning to end! WHOOO HOOOOO! ****

"When it Rains it Pours"
I can't even quote all of the lines at you because they are all so damn good. Please listen to this song immediately. Stop what you're doing. This is the mother of all breakup songs. It just keeps going - more and more and more fantastic one-liners. Oh, and did I mention he's as flipping good as Chris Stapleton? Luke. Welcome to country music. Stay for a long time. I beg you. ***

"This One's for You"
This song could be a good release around father's day. It's clearly a song dedicated to his hometown, his family, his father. Cause he owes some of them a beer, some of them quite a few. ***

"Be Careful What You Wish For"
This B-side song feels thrown on the end. It's good, but it's generic. I won't turn the station if this is the one they go with. **

"I Got Away With You"
This is a sweet little ballad, lots of steel for my boots on the sawdust. **

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