Luke Bryan’s long-anticipated fifth studio album, Kill The Lights, is finally available for public consumption. This album follows Bryan’s highly successful and multiple No. 1 producing, Crash My Party.
In the last 2 years Bryan, if nothing else, has shown how committed he is to his craft and this business– winning the coveted CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy, breaking multiple stadium ticket sales records and selling 2.5 million albums. Fans have also seen the softer, not so raunchy side to Bryan through his very public telling of his family’s tragically sad story.
With Bryan’s star power and openness, fans’ expectations were big for this album– would it be more personal? Could they dance to it?
Fans can dance and shake it to Kill The Lights for sure and Bryan’s six co-writes (Bryan gets writing credits on all three Target Exclusive tracks) might be the album’s best cuts– because they are a little more personal.
The lead just hit No. 1, which is a great start for the album, but this song isn’t Bryan’s best, though it fits nicely into country music’s “formula,” which is why Bryan lovers have completely embraced it rather than scratching their heads over the totally uncompelling lyrics.
“Kill The Lights”
The title tracks sounds eerily like “That’s My Kind of Night,” complete with Bryan’s signature laugh/grunt. After the musical intro the vibe gets a little more groovy than its predecessor and acts more grown-up-sexy than party-in-a-field-sexy.
“Strip It Down”
Bryan slows it down for ample stipping it down on this one and it works. There’s no doubt this one will become a fan favorite– save some of the weirder lines like, “Dirty dance me slow /In the summertime heat.” Bryan’s always had sex appeal, this tune solidifies it.
“Home Alone Tonight”
As a fan of Little Big Town and country music’s current It Girl, Karen Fairchild, it’s hard not to dig this song. If you can forget that Bryan and Fairchild are both happily married with children, you’ll sing along to this cadence of a bar pickup line that worked out pretty well for both parties.
This track feels almost like the follow-up, older version of “I See You.” The guy at the bar just wants to forget a former lover, but there she is.
A meaningful look at growing up and maturing, this is Bryan’s best attempt at slowing down and enjoying life. It’s relatable and all too true.
In an interesting first few lines, a listener could think Bryan is singing a song about a girl’s move to a new town, but no– it’s about getting on those cut-off jeans and “move”ing your body to the beat. There’s a little more substance to this one than Bryan’s break-out smash, “Country Girl (Shake It For Me),” but that’s not saying much. Towards the end of bawdy jam Bryan slows it down Sam Hunt style with a little spoken-word, partial rap spelling lesson.
Hard to believe someone would actually come over to Bryan’s to end something, but he’s fairly convincing on this song.
“Love It Gone”
Bryan is here to cure all your problems with his love and throughout the number there are hints of that old-school ’90s big country sound. Almost like a mix of Brooks and Dunn meeting Garth Brooks outside of a George Strait concert. Almost.
“Way Way Back”
The keyboard really takes center stage in this one. Front-and-center.
“To The Moon and Back”
A sweet, sweet promise of love and adoration throughout life’s biggest hurdles, hurricanes and ties that bind. This Bryan track will be one that people talk about for a long, long time.
“Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day”
Bryan told Radio.com he wants this tattooed on his body at some point. It’s a satisfying look at Bryan’s simpler, slower life– minus the part where he starts discussing those unlucky bastards “up there breathing in that old, dirty air.”
Bryan didn’t write this one, but it’s easy to think he did. Much like Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt,” this tune is a nostalgic look at just how deeply one’s roots are planted in their hometown.
Overall, Luke Bryan purists are going to find a lot to love about this album. Bryan is clearly trying to stick to stick to what he knows and barely tweaking the formula that’s moved his hips steady for years now. The tracks are more mature than his last album, but it is easy to see he hasn’t even reached his full-potential yet.
Bryan’s still looking for one last romp or four in a corn field, but he’s still got a lot left to say and a lot of songs to sing.
Image Source: UMG