There have been two distinct forms of country music that have been splitting apart over the course of the last 15 or 20 years. While the line between pop and country has been blurred by a great many of the current wave of country artists, there are still a number of practitioners of the older country and western style. Of current artists, there are not many that attempt to join the two streams. Luke Bryan looks to do just that with eir latest album Tailgates & Tanlines.
Country Girl is a track that will make it big both on the country and the pop charts, with a sing-along that matches the earworm level of any other song currently on the charts. However, there is a traditional streak to Bryan’s music that comes through clearly on tracks like Muckalee Creek Water. Sure, there may be bits and pieces of Blake Shelton in Tailgates & Tanlines, but George Jones and Flatt and Scruggs are shown to be major contributors to Bryan’s overall sound.
Tailgates & Tanlines is an album that is classically modeled; while there are a number of tracks that will make it onto singles charts, the whole album is able to speak with a cohesive voice. If you like country music at all, there is no reason why you should not search out a copy of this title. However, I believe that what Bryan does during Tailgates & Tanlines should be seen (and heard) as the laying of a foundation for any artist that wishes to make it big in country music in the next fifteen or twenty years. Simply a great album.
Top Tracks: Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, I Know You’re Gonna Be There
Luke Bryan – Tailgates & Tanlines (CD) / 2011 Capitol / 13 Tracks / http://www.lukebryan.com