Luke Bryan - What Makes You Country
What Makes You Country
The first song off of Luke Bryan's sixth album is titled "What Makes You Country" the same title as the album as is about just what you think it would be about. Trucks, the radio, green eyed girl from Jackson, Church and guns sum up the thrust of this record, showing that damn near anyone can be country, as long as they agree with everything that modern country has come to encapsulate. This record came out in December of 2017, before the tragedy in Parkland, FL so the talk about guns feels a bit more charged and inappropriate, but it's hard to put 2018's ideas on something from 2017. The thing is Luke Bryan does nothing to dissuade the criticisms of Country music and instead leans in on all the usual tropes. He's got his girl, He's got his truck, He's got his gun and He has his friends so what else could a country man want right? This idea of diluting the South and Country music as a whole to these basic ideas is so frustrating because the place is diverse and varied just like anywhere else in the world. People have come to wrap up their entire identity in being a "fuck all the rest" Country music fan while still cherry picking from the biggest hits and styles in popular music. The thing that is the most frustrating is the idea that these artists are somehow doing something "daring" by sticking to their Country roots, but in reality they are just aggregators of what is happening in pop music. Bryan himself switches to an almost Hip Hop delivery on "Light it Up". I see the appeal of the screeching guitars and big sound, but his voice sucks, the content sucks and you are left with this pile of Country Pop garbage that is made for the lowest common denominator. "Most People Are Good" sounds like it was written for a Trump rally sing-a-long with inane lyrics like "I believe kids outta stay kids as long as they can, turn off the screen go climb a tree get dirt on their hands" which could not be a more "get off my lawn" type of fucking statement. He makes a few other preposterous statements in this track, appealing as hard as He can to the base.
The love songs are equally cringe with surface level ideas like "We ain't never been, we ain't never been bad lovers" on the aptly titled "Bad Lovers". There are so many moments like this throughout the album, but you can only imagine thousands of fans singing along to this shit in some packed stadium. Outside of his song writing Luke Bryan's voice is actually pretty bad. It never sounds like He is singing more like He is talking with some melody. There are no high parts no vocal movement, just an almost monotone sound with extra emphasis on the southern drawl. Just in case you thought there wasn't a song about boozing, rest assured "Drinking Again" is here to save you. Guess what, when Luke's friends are "drinking again" they are having just the best time. There are so many times where Luke Bryan tries to sound like He is being progressive while still trying to appeal to his right wing base, but statements like you should be allowed to "love who you love" feel barely half-assed while talking about drinking and shooting guns is touted as the pinnacle of human existence. I mean I hate to be dramatic but this album is really causing a further divide in our Country by claiming to have all the answers and shouting them down to everyone else. Sorry Luke all of us don't live on a farm and actually care for our fellow man rather than just giving lip service to it. This record fucking stinks.
1.2 out of 10