Luke Bryan – Tailgates & Tanlines – Reviews

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Luke Bryan – Tailgates & Tanlines – Reviews

Luke Bryan is a perfectly capable country singer with the requisite boyish down-home charm and smiling warmth… though he is also inescapably cookie-cutter in his approach. Tailgates & Tanlines (Capitol) is the Georgia native’s third studio album and he is clearly having a lot of fun on here.

Who doesn’t love a touch of goofiness to break things up? Well, unfortunately the balance gets out of whack on “Shake It Country Girl.” I’m down for a song about a man being sexually fascinated by a woman but with a lyric like “shake it for the critters and the crickets and the squirrels” the woodland soft-porn references border on parody. That and it’s not entirely clear what effect Bryan is going for. Is the beat catchy to warrant being a single? Yep. Did it bring a reluctant smile to my face? Guilty, but only after the fact.

The charm of the rosy-cheeked guy whose dusty jeans are gettin’ a little tight staring at the purdy girls starts to wear a bit thin on “Drunk On You.” Across Tailgates & Taglines, and on “Drunk On You” especially, there’s a tendency to slip into wording that’s more goo-goo baby talk than lusty banter and it undermines what Bryan does well, which is just sing his heart out.

He gains some notable traction when he leaves playful temporarily behind on tracks like “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” which chronicles the ending of a dying relationship that even great sex can’t hold together. “I Don’t Want This Night To End” nicely captures in-the-moment infatuation and excitement. Once Bryan starts balancing out his affinity for over-the-top silliness with harder-hitting stuff, thiat is definitely something I’d be interested to hear. For now though, he’s still finding his footing.

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