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Country - Released December 8, 2017 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released August 7, 2015 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released August 7, 2015 | Capitol Records Nashville

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When Luke Bryan subtitled his final collection of Spring Break EPs "Checkin' Out," he made no bones about his maturation: now that he's a man, he's giving up his childish ways. Kill the Lights -- Bryan's fifth album, delivered just five months after that farewell to Spring Break debauchery -- is unabashedly the work of a man who is beginning to feel the weight of encroaching middle age, but Bryan isn't running away from the good times he celebrated as a younger man. Sure, there are suggestions that he's feeling the weight of his years -- he notices how "60 seconds now feel more like 30," then compares his beating heart to the skips on a CD -- but Bryan isn't living for yesterday, he's duetting with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild about texting pictures to their exes to stoke jealousy while singing the title song to a neo-new wave disco beat that could also pass as EDM. In other words, Bryan is happy to be a modern man and Kill the Lights excels by being modern, as comfortable in the contours that lie between contemporary country and crossover as it is in the workingmans' sports bars that dot these United States. Bryan never abandons his blue-collar roots but he also suggests he sees a world outside of red states (after all, he obliquely references Coldplay on the arena ballad "Just Over") and that is the key to the record's success: Bryan is everything to everybody, a genial host who hopes everybody is having a grand time. He's crowd pleasing without pandering, delivering slow-burning ballads and tempered party tunes that never descend to bacchanalia. Bryan is a guy that wants everybody to have fun, then come back tomorrow for another round and that's why Kill the Lights works so well. He's a genial, generous host, going out of his way to ensure everybody has a good time, and Kill the Lights winds up feeling happy and generous, an inclusive record that plays to teenage desires as effectively as memories of an adolescence left behind. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | EMI

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Ambient/New Age - Released November 10, 2017 | Capitol Nashville

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Country - Released December 8, 2017 | Capitol Records Nashville

"People talking about what is and what ain't country," sings Luke Bryan at the opening of What Makes You Country. He poses this at a time when the contours of mainstream country are shifting, a change that coincides with Bryan turning from an upstart into a veteran. During his decade of dominance, the sound of mainstream modern country was largely the sound of Luke Bryan: cheerful odes to country, drinking, and love. Other bro-country acts had a rowdier edge, but Bryan's ace in the hole was his friendliness. It not only made him seem like the guy next door, it also disguised how he slyly followed fashion, incorporating bits of current trends into his singles. On What Makes You Country, he's not quite so slick. Covered in a shiny electronic gloss, the album flits between slow-burners and mellow pop. While he takes the occasional detour for a song that could be strummed on a front porch -- "Most People Are Good" could fit on any of his records -- the cumulative effect of all the rhythmic loops and electronic flair on the album is that Bryan seems consumed with retaining his status as a hitmaker. Matters aren't helped by the fact that he doesn't seem particularly interested in the party songs; he wanders through the amiable "Drinking Again" as if he doesn't want another beer, and doesn't seem much interested in what makes you country or not. When it comes to the ballads, though, or the numerous laid-back pop numbers, Bryan demonstrates that familiar, friendly charm, and that helps sell productions that are otherwise trying a little too hard to make him sound a little less cozy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released January 1, 2011 | Capitol Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2007 | Capitol Nashville

Luke Bryan's debut album for Capitol Nashville is about as country as the music gets these days. Rather than borrow form Tim McGraw or Big & Rich, he takes his inspiration from more timeless and perhaps timeworn carriers of the Nash Vegas tradition like Randy Travis and Alan Jackson. Bryan's also a songwriter in the best sense of the word, especially when it comes to sticking close and true to the topical side of country music, from mama and praying to food and love (and its loss) to individuality and trucks. The set contains 11 tracks, ten of which were written or co-written by Bryan. While structurally and topically Bryan is in the mainline of honky tonk tradition, the sound of the album, thanks to producer Jeff Stevens, is pure contemporary country circa the early 21st century. It borrows heavily from rock & roll technique, in the chorus vocals and the Hammond B-3 organ to the big, compressed drum sounds. Fiddles, pedal steels and honky tonk upright pianos are everywhere, but they are layered underneath big guitar sounds, reverbed vocals, and sometimes cavernous drums. It's the stress between the expertly composed material and the sonic ground that gives the album its enormous potential. Whether it's an up-tempo love song like "Baby's on the Way," with its double entendre and ringing 12-string electric guitars, the novelty jealous hillbilly rocker of "All of My Friends Say," the line dance swagger of "Country Man," the anthemic nostalgia song "We Rode in Trucks," or most any cut here, this disc is deep in singles -- and potential videos. Despite the calculating, swing for the fences nature of Bryan's debut, he is genuinely gifted, and executes nearly flawlessly. This record will sound just fine five or ten years from now (if a little cheesy for the production nuances), which is a lot more than one can say for some of his contemporaries. Bryan is a singer and songwriter to watch as a recording artist. ~ Thom Jurek

Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released August 12, 2014 | Capitol Records Nashville

The title Crash My Party alone is a tip-off that Luke Bryan is quite comfortable residing within the party-hearty persona he's slowly crafted over the course of five years -- ever since he started his pivot away from the traditional country of his 2007 debut. Looking back, it's hard to believe Bryan ever could've been pegged as a possible neo-traditionalist, a singer/songwriter who penned much of his own material and seemed intent on injecting a modicum of twang into his songs. Nowadays, after racking up happy hits like "Rain Is a Good Thing" and "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)," and cannily carving out a position as the country version of James Franco's Alien singing unironic red-state "Spring Break Forever" anthems for booze-soaked bros and gals, Luke Bryan doesn't seem like he ever once bothered with the backwood. With its sly Auto-Tune, diluted hip-hop rhythms, nods to T.I., and rivers of beer, Crash My Party surely doesn't feel as if it belongs to country, not even when Bryan is wooing his paramour with promises of a catfish dinner, and part of that is due to just how darn friendly Luke seems. No matter how many six-packs he sings about swinging or how many parties he crashes, Bryan just doesn't seem like a macho man. He seems like a nice guy, the kind of dude who would never down drinks til dawn, the kind of guy who would grow on a girl, not the one who would swagger over with seduction on his mind. Crash My Party is filled with songs reliant on the idea that Bryan is a blue-collar baller, so fratty that he rhapsodizes about his "Blood Brothers" and wistfully remembers when he and his crew used to run their small town. If Bryan had a voice etched in gravel, perhaps all this would seem like too much barrel-chested boasting, but as he sings in a voice as plain, flat, and friendly as the plains, all his celebrations of the conformist class seem cheerful. They also seem slightly cookie-cutter. There's a reason for that. Bryan, at least for now, has given up the idea of writing his own songs (only two here bear his credit), and has chosen material that's either hard and hooky or soft and sentimental, giving them all productions that gleam in unrelenting sunshine. Under the guidance of producer Jeff Stevens, Bryan sneakily incorporates all manners of modern sounds -- not enough to distract but enough to make an impression, particularly in how the rhythms suggest pop and dance, how Bryan's flow can mimic hip-hop without rapping, and those little Auto-Tune flourishes pop up throughout -- which also doesn't make the singer seem particularly country, but he does seem savvy, somebody who embraces what real redneck living is about in 2013. Everything here, from the sound to the songs, is about improving the brand of "Luke Bryan: Party Bro" and if he never seems to inhabit that role, he's nevertheless able to sell it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released October 26, 2018 | Capitol Records Nashville

Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2011 | Capitol Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | Capitol Records Nashville

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