Sign up for newsletter
 

Luke Bryan

Doin' My Thing – 2009 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

Find it on Amazon

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by Luke Bryan

"Do I turn you on and on when I kiss you baby? Does the sight of me wanting you drive you crazy?" Luke Bryan's debut single off his sophomore album, Do I is narrated from a point of insecurity, but it comes from a voice that's potentially watching a relationship collapse before his very eyes. It's the stage where one doesn't want to admit that the fire and passion are gone, so just the fact that he's asking all of these questions should tell us that it's over. Bryan co-wrote the song with fellow Georgia natives Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood (two-thirds of Lady Antebellum); he pours a lot of emotion into the lyrics and makes the listener feel the burning uncertainty of this romance's future. It's quite a way to start off a sophomore album, which can often be the difference between a one-album wonder and a solid career.

Bryan had a hand in writing 8 of the 11 songs and shows a versatility that wasn't as evident on his 2007 debut ("I'll Stay Me"). He delivers in mining many of the same elements that served him well on his debut, along with a few new things for good measure. The Leesburg, Ga.-raised singer walks a delicate balance between traditional country and a radio-friendly sound.

There's no song as entertaining and downright, hilarious, as the rollicking Rain Is A Good Thing with its lyrics - "Rain makes Corn, Corn makes Whiskey"....it puts into words the obvious (as well as the secondary) reasons why country folks love a good downpour. Drinkin' Beer and Wastin' Bullets has a Southern Rock tinge to it, and I Did It Again is a slower ballad about not being able to kick some old habits, but both songs fall square into the humor alley. Every Time I See You also falls into that category, but not intentionally. In the song, Bryan compares his love interest to seeing "a wreck on the highway...I just can't walk away." Wow. It's a metaphor that any woman surely would love to hear from her man. Welcome To The Farm tells us about the merits of the country life, but it gets a little bit cliche. Ironically, What Country Is, co-written by Shane McAnally, who had a few songs on the radio in the late 1990's/early 2000's, successfully conveys how country is a way of life and "can't be bought...it's something your born with." That's one of the top tracks because of its core message and the mention of country things like "cars pulling over for a no cab tractor...and homemade peach ice cream." Someone Else Calling You Baby, co-written by Bryan and the producer, Jeff Stevens; it could very well be a sequel to Do I. In the song, the narrator laments the fact that his girlfriend is happy with somebody else now.

Bryan's biggest departure from his standard fare is a cover of Ryan Tedder's

Apologize

. Kudos to Bryan for trying something different. He handles the opening lines of the pop hit well, but his voice just doesn't seem right for the chorus.