Luke Bryan
Kill the Lights


1.5
very poor

Review

by Shamus248 USER (82 Reviews)
August 11th, 2015 | 57 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Country music digs its hole deeper.

Country music has been in quite the mega slump as of late. In terms of quality, that is. The popularity of it has been on a hot streak, but that's due to artists stepping out of a traditional country landscape in favor of a pop and hip hop overtone that generates musical relevance. Luke Bryan, the most recent recipient of the CMA award for Entertainer of the Year, sits as the most known and recognized amalgamation of mainstream country that artists like Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, and Florida Georgia Line are doing more and more as their careers advance.

It's really no wonder why George Strait retired from touring. It's no wonder why Zac Brown Band started releasing material on rock radio. They saw this coming, and here we are in 2015. Country artists are running for the hills, wanting to shake the traditional country label to join the ranks of mainstream music's elite. Country's top dogs like Luke Bryan have this really bad ingredient being mixed into the pot here. This pop and hip hop overtone is completely overshadowing the actual country side of the spectrum. And on Luke Bryan's fifth studio project, "Kill the Lights", it's easy to see why there are as many fans turning from country as there are actual artists.

With this latest abomination, you have tracks like "Kick the Dust Up", which abhorrently and annoyingly utilize repetition. As if that wasn't bad enough, you've got the dead horse of a lyrical structure about tricking trucks, getting drunk off our asses and kissing pretty girls under the full moon. But when that full moon comes out, it's not the wolves who will be howling. It's the critics like myself who can't help but notice just how contrived and typical this lyricism is.

A lot of the tracks on this record are very derivative and predictable, and that needs to change, if country music is to be saved. Sure, it's cool to be at the forefront of "bro country" what have you and sing about Ford F-150s, Coors Light and bikinis, but what made guys like George Strait, Alan Jackson and Keith Urban so popular was their ability to do more than just scratch the surface. They found ways to expand their songwriting and broaden their horizons. This is apparent on tracks like "Strip it Down." Couple the aforementioned repetition with these formulaic and clich├ęd lyrics and you've got a bust of a song. This album's eponymous track is a victim of the exact same blueprint. Getting back to "Kick the Dust Up", which opens the album; tell me, are you a fan of this chorus ("Kick the dust up/Back it on up/Fill your cup up/Tear it up up/Kick the dust up.") *Editor's note* Typing that chorus resulted in a loss of brain cells. Our condolences to their owner.

Don't forget, however, Luke Bryan can sing. And on a good day, his vocals can soar. Tracks like "Move" and "Fast", even with their abysmal lyric structure, Bryan does a pretty solid job at bringing them to life. Look back to Luke's past discography. He had decent lyrics, and his voice could drive home songs like "Do I", "All My Friends Say", and "I Don't Want this Night to End." The track "Razor Blade" starts out with this ominous vibe and a crooning Bryan to make the track somewhat feasible. While "Razor Blade" may be just generic as hell in terms of conception, Bryan does deserve some credit at giving a bit of life to the song. ("She'll cut ya like a razor blade.")

Luke Bryan can certainly succeed when he touches base on the deeper and more personable side of the lyrical spectrum. It's, obviously, where that hip-hop bro country overtone kicks in that the album's very dignity starts to fade into utter obscurity. If you're wondering if my complaint is about inconsistently, you're mistaken. I'd rather have Luke Bryan throw a bunch of curveballs, rather than under-deliver what was expected from country's reigning EOTY.

There is, in fact, some country to this album's mix. Tracks like "Just Over" open with a guitar and drums, rather than sound effects and a sonically driven atmosphere that made the album's handful of opening tracks so outlandish and lackluster. But at this point, the listener would be smart to just wash his/her hands of this thirteen-track long player, the likes of which just spits in the face of true country music.

Overall, I expected a lot more out of Bryan. Especially after he threw his sound over the edge with "Crash My Party." I was honestly expecting something to shake country from its depravity and set up a potential revival. I guess we can't have it all. But just so as to set the record straight, if you're a fan of Luke Bryan, you are definitely going to love this record.



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user ratings (44)
1.5
very poor
other reviews of this album
RyGuy69 (1)
I hate Luke....

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tunaboy45
August 11th 2015


17625 Comments


Can't believe I share a name with this tosspot.

Shamus248
August 11th 2015


495 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

who, Luke Bryan? yeah, I feel you on that one

AsimovsGhost
August 11th 2015


31 Comments


I really feel like music critics should push a new genre label for this kind of country. When I hear country, I think Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams (and I barely pay attention to the genre.) Like you've stated in your review, this is just Top 40 pop with a country dress-up and it annoys me that Luke Bryan is lumped into the same category as the other artists I mentioned.

theBoneyKing
August 11th 2015


20555 Comments


This is a vert good review!

I love country music, but Puke Bryan is awful.

Snake.
August 11th 2015


23019 Comments


@Ghost I'm pretty sure Shamus thinks that country music started with Keith Urban

Tunaboy45
August 11th 2015


17625 Comments


let's call this style 'cuntry' and be done with it

Shamus248
August 11th 2015


495 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm talking 2000s country dumbass

Snake.
August 11th 2015


23019 Comments


how were we supposed to know that? no one can read yr mind buddy

AsimovsGhost
August 11th 2015


31 Comments


let's call this style 'cuntry' and be done with it


Seconded

Asdfp277
August 11th 2015


23347 Comments


Country-pop

Popular country

Brostep
Emeritus
August 11th 2015


4491 Comments


oh come on pop country is great

JonLDials
August 11th 2015


50 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

SHAKE IT FOOORR MEEEE GUUURRRRHHLL

deathschool
August 11th 2015


27315 Comments


Ily brostep, but yuck

Asdfp277
August 11th 2015


23347 Comments


When I think of country, I think of Laura Stevenson

Shamus248
August 11th 2015


495 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

because the only artists I mentioned were;



Modern country - Aldean, Shelton, Bryan, FGL

90s-2000s country - Strait, Urban, Jackson

Asdfp277
August 11th 2015


23347 Comments


still dude, no mind-readers

deathschool
August 11th 2015


27315 Comments


She's more Americana, but that's fine Asdfjendodndf.

Shamus248
August 11th 2015


495 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

well it's not like I mentioned the pioneers like Cash, Nelson, or Hank Sr

Asdfp277
August 11th 2015


23347 Comments


I think of Townes Van Zandt, and then I'm happy

breakingthefragile
August 12th 2015


3104 Comments


I honestly can't take any of these criticisms seriously seeing as how that Saint Asonia album is even more derivative, predictable, and irrelevant than this in this day and age and yet you have no problem awarding that with a 4/5 review.



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