Sunday evening, I was at C.I.'s and Betty and I were flipping channels.
We came across this one guy doing a riff on how the other guy's teeth were so white.
The other guy was a wax statue.
The original guy showed up.
Who's that, Betty and I wondered.
C.I., sifting through a stack of scripts, looks up and goes, "Luke Bryan" -- and goes back to sifting.
The guy committed to a bit.
A cheesy bit.
And he sold it on personality.
He could host his own variety show -- and maybe should.
But who he is?
He's a country musician and his most recent album dropped back in 2015, KILL THE LIGHTS.
That's where I started.
And where I almost stopped.
"Kick The Dust Up" is the opening track and made it all the way to number one on the country charts. I can't think of a more horrifying song I've heard on a non Hall & Oates album.
I didn't mind the patty cake music.
I did mind the awful lyrics.
Again, the song made it to number one.
Others clearly didn't mind it -- in fact, they loved it.
"Got me a jar full of clear and I got that music for your ear and it's like knock, knock goes the diesel if you really want to see the beautiful people . . ."
"Kill The Lights" -- the title track -- followed. Didn't love it. Didn't hate it. Found it interesting. Figured I'd stick around for one more track.
Glad I did.
"Strip It Down" -- another number one -- was a great song. Great songwriting, great craftmanship.
Most of all, a great vocal.
This song was the first one that made the argument that Luke Bryan's voice wasn't just in tune, it was also a very powerful (and seductive) element.
They ain't holding nothing -- these two hands
Until they're holding you again
He sells it and then some.
Then he teams with Karen Fairchild for another hit "Home Alone Tonight."
Karen's voice blends nicely with his. A lot of duets -- think any of the live recordings of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan -- do not work because the voices never meet.
Karen's got a whiskey growl that compliments Luke's -- in fact, their voices create friction as they rub against each other.
So let's go shot for shot for shot till we forgot what we came here to forget.
Ain't a clock, a tick, a tock, that's gonna stop, a night we won't regret
Put our drink down, throw your camera up
Flip it around and snap a payback picture
I'll send it to my ex
I'll send it to my ex
And send them both a text saying
"We ain't going home alone tonight"
"Razor Blade" is another great track which really lets Luke's voice shine.
I don't care for the opening song (which, again, many millions of people clearly love) but I was amazed at how much I loved this album.
I don't even think the best track has been released -- despite six singles already charting (including "Move" and "Fast" which are wonderful).
"Just Over" is just amazing.
She called and said she wanted to see me
I say, "Yeah, that's fine, baby, drop on by"
I figured I could make it better
Just like every other time we had this fight
Of all the kind of over it could've been
I never would've bet on this
I was thinking she would come over, stay over
Wake up hungover, still head over heels for me
Thought it was something we could talk over, drink over
Then it would be over, back to how it used to be
No, but it's the kind where the sheets get colder
And she don't need no shoulder to cry on, she's gone
She ain't pulling over it's just over
I love the guitars on this song, I love the drumming and I love his vocal.
Luke Bryan is extremely talented and he really drives that home with his vocal on this song.
Does appearing on awards show have any effect?
I'd argue they do.
I still remember Cyndi Lauper's amazing performance of Prince's "When You Were Mine" on the American Music Awards back in the 80s.
I'm not a country music expert and if Betty and I hadn't been flipping channels last night, I'd have no idea he even existed.
Would have been my loss.
KILL THE LIGHTS is a great album.
the common ills