For A Better Balance Of Pop and Country Conventions, Listen To Luke Bryan’s Early Albums Like ‘Tailgates & Tanlines’
Luke Bryan is one of those artists that seems to have something for everyone. The general Country fan consensus though is that he used to be closer to his Country roots, but switched his style up, album by album, towards a Pop pandering style, which garnered him more and more success, but at the possible detriment of losing not just authenticity, but his a true sense of cool. Add to this the fact that he started becoming a real sex symbol with the ladies in the mid 2010s, and therefore, the music took on more electronic club worthy elements and pick-up artist phrasing – you know, to excite the female fans and sell more CDs and concert tickets. My biggest issue is that this catch all sexy attitude is hard to pull off unless you really have the gift of gab – and unfortunately, artists cut from Luke Bryan’s cloth more oft than not sound moronic when trying to say cool or sexy things. Yet I must concede, he is getting a response – yet I would have to honestly say the type of fans who don’t become flush with embarrassment at such lamely-delivered game don’t know the sound of true game in the first place. Alas, they are happy with the big anthem sing along spirit, and happy to be amongst like minded folks who enjoy the sexy party attitude offered up, uninterested in being critical about such anemic commercialized cool being voiced song after song, a vernacular which just would not pass in side by side comparisons with artists from other genres who slang sex in a more authentic and attractive way. Which is why I find Luke Bryan a very talented man yet one who too often throws these sayings and terms out blindly with the hopes of some of it sticking to the walls, causing me to cringe more often than not, even in the middle of song I might have been sort of digging. You can’t pretend to say stuff in a cool way. Especially in recording, you are blessed with the ability to perform multiple takes, so if you can’t get it right with all that production support behind you, and something cringy makes its way on to the actual track, then it becomes a question of taste. Searching for Luke Bryan’s true sense of taste, since I feel he has lost quite a bit in the pursuit of modern crossover hits, I investigate a popular transition album circa 2011 called “Tailgates & Tanlines”, where the instrumentation is still mostly analog, and the sexy-cool-guy lines are more confidently delivered and closer, I speculate, to Bryan’s authentic self.