I’ll Stay Me

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Luke hails from a small Southern town—Leesburg, Ga., to be exact. And he’s not about to let you forget it: About half of his debut album is made up of odes to the superiority of rural life and country people, from the values to the vehicles. The rest of I’ll Stay Me hits all the required bases for a modern mainstream country effort: There’s a self-defining statement of purpose (the title cut), a drinking song (the hit “All My Friends Say”), a tragic ballad (“The Car in Front of Me”) and so forth. It’s all lent distinction by Luke’s voice, a John Andersonesque instrument he handles with confidence.

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