Crash My Party by Luke Bryan
The third time may be the charm, but for Luke Bryan, the fourth is the monster. Crash My Party, studio album No. 4 from Luke, is geared to blast the Georgia boy into the rarified air of country’s superstars. All the imagery his fans have come to demand is there: tanned legs swinging over tailgates, starry Southern nights, red Georgia clay and an endless supply of cold cans.
Two songs, in fact, have “beer” in their titles, and both are intoxicating. “Beer in the Headlights” twists the mesmerized-deer idiom with some clever wordplay, and “Drink a Beer,” co-written by Chris Stapleton, poignantly memorializes a fallen friend. Other entries excel at nostalgia.
“We Run This Town” reflects on those days when being a teenager felt like being king of the world, or at least of your small town, while “Blood Brothers” is a one-for-all/all-for-one anthem. “Dirt Road Diary,” one of two songs Luke co-wrote, is a snapshot of his upbringing. It closes out Crash My Party and stands as the album’s high point.
Conversely, the weakest track is its opener, “That’s My Kind of Night,” a mishmash of hip-hop tropes (make it rain), country clichés (diamond-plate tailgate) and inane couplets that sound like something Guy Fieri would riff on in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Catch us up a little catfish dinner / Gonna sound like a winner). “Play It Again,” though likely a hit waiting to happen, also drops that same time-worn tailgate.
In the future, it’d be nice to see Luke, the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year, grow out of the fields he’s so clearly comfortable in. But for now, if the soil is still bearing fruit, you can’t blame him for continuing to plow ahead.