What Makes You Country

AlbumbyLuke Bryan

Released in 2017, 15 tracks, 53 min

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Narratives

"What Makes You Country"

Looking Back At The Luke Bryan Album That Changed My Perspective On Country Pop

I’m not gonna sit here & pretend like I’m not a hater, ‘cause I absolutely am in every conceivable way, previously priding myself on musical elitism back when I was but a young lad studying Jazz theory in the early-noughties. Other than dating a few southern belles in high school, I’d never really found a place in my heart for Country music in my earlier years as my only real exposure to the genre was acts like Gretchen Wilson & Big & Rich who were so damned hokey it could turn anyone away; I mean, as a mulato individual, it’s notably difficult to champion redneck culture when they’re the exact sort of people trying to vote away my rights as an American citizen. Over time, though, I found myself softening to the Country genre as a whole when certain Scotty McCreery tunes or Megan Morris joints hit my ear, catching my attention with their bouncy melodies & inspiringly wholesome vocal narratives, though to my surprise the album that really turned my head was Luke Bryan’s 2017 record What Makes You Country – Now, it may seem counterintuitive that the most generic of the bunch turned me on to a genre I had previously ignored, especially when there’re acts with far more talent like Chris Stapleton & Midland churning out nothing but solid gold these days, but something about this album made it incredibly clear to me that people – even those on the wrong side of social movements – really can change for the better in a market as politically-competitive as the Country space, with Bryan going from Honky Tonk conservative with a slightly-problematic stance on underage girls to someone who’s now actively promoting cultural equality & the end of gender discrimination within the tunes on this record, something I never thought I’d see coming from one of the older musicians in the market – Just like that, I was hooked on Country & found myself exploring every corner of the genre itself in the next couple years, making my sonic life richer in the process.

Mar 04, 2019

What Makes ‘What Makes You Country’ Good? The First Half Of A Top Heavy Luke Bryan Effort

Throughout his career , Luke Bryan has been a pretty equal mix of the frustratingly unintelligent Bro-Country sub genre and the more commendable Traditional Country formulas – all the while striking a chord with audiences through great instrumentation, comforting vocals, and something-for-everyone subject matter. This is why the CMA winner has been so popular, and so many people have bought his cds, filled their playlists with his mp3s, and supported his tours (the prolific performer won Billboard Music Award for Top Country Tour for 2018). Yes, he packs the stadium, not only because he is riding or propagating the latest trends, but because he knows how to connect with the audience’s emotional and topical tastes. I suppose I simply don’t share those tastes, though I want to like Luke Bryan a lot more, as I feel he could be even better if he ditched the traces of mediocrity that either plague a part of a singular track, or a whole half of an album, such as on What Makes You Country. Listening to the full album, I must admit that, already familiar with acts like his, I assumed the album style was going to be overwrought with loud, cliché, shit-kickin’ ignorance, yet I’m happy to hear that this is not the case. The album celebrates certain cliché’s, sure, but it is mostly a humble delivery, which I appreciated. Still, many tracks on the tail half of the album are plagued with aimless measures, weakly designed hooks, and terrible interpretations of modern styles in an attempt to crossover. If you are going to crossover, make sure you understand the source material, and make damn sure that you can execute.

Written by @taylor
Mar 04, 2019

Official Music Videos

"What Makes You Country"

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"What Makes You Country"

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"What Makes You Country"

Album Info

"What Makes You Country"

Released

  • Dec 08, 2017

Genres

  • Country

Label

  • Capitol Nashville

Producer

  • Jeff Stevens
  • Jody Stevens

About

What Makes You Country is the sixth studio album by American singer Luke Bryan. It was released on December 8, 2017 via Capitol Records Nashville. The album includes the singles "Light It Up", "Most People Are Good" and "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset".
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