Luke Bryan - Crash My Party

Decca/Capitol Nashville

Released to coincide with his European tour, that included UK Country To Country dates, this is a special expanded version of Luke Bryan’s 2013 CRASH MY PARTY American release. With 19 tracks, it’s a value-for-money collection, but even without those additional tracks, this has always been a rather special album that grows and grows the more you listen. Opener, That’s My Kind Of Night, is yet another one of those up-tempo, good ol’ boys songs that have been dominating the country airwaves these past few years and to be honest I wasn’t in the mood. But the rhythm, the hand-claps, the banjo and the overall vibe gets to me and as the album unfurls I slowly but surely got hooked in.

There is an abundance of ballads, most of them are rather good and certainly connected with me both lyrically and melodically. Okay … it’s true they hardly break any new ground … but what the heck, sometimes it’s so damn good to just lay-back and let the songs wash over you, leaving you with a good warm feeling. That’s how I felt with Rollercoaster, We Run This Town and Crash My Party … body swaying, singing along, yeah this is fun. The killer came with Play It Again. I was floored! Especially the line ‘Oh my God this is my song …’ proof to me that a great song can capture a moment and take the listener there … and this album did that for me time and time again. It reminded me of why music and my whole life are so closely entwined and just how much those people who don’t embrace music are missing in their lives.
There are six additional tracks. They add little to the original album and if anything, for me at least, they kind of detract somewhat, as they make the album not just too long, but a little tiresome as tracks like What Is It With You, Sunburnt Lips and Good Lookin’ Girl, are just a little too similar to each other, lyrically and melodically.

Having said that, I still believe that the original CRASH MY PARTY has helped to establish Luke Bryan as one of this generation’s most expressive country voices. For too long he’s relied on good-time southern anthems, but with this album he turned the spotlight on reflective songs about life, love and people … for me this epitomises what country music is all about. Country tradition neatly modernised for future generations in much the same way the great artists of the past used to do as they contemporarised the music to attract a larger and younger audience.
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