Luke Bryan – “Country Man”
Songwriters: Luke Bryan, Galen Griffin, and Patrick Jason Matthews
Luke Bryan’s third single, “Country Man,” goes for adds on March 24. It mindlessly lists anything that could be superficially associated with being a country man and will hopefully give him an advantage in attracting a woman, but despite all that, it’s an infectious little ditty that’s fun for a listen or two with lines like “don’t be a tape player hater girl, we’re groovin’ to Hank.” Beyond that, however, I don’t know who this song is supposed to appeal to on an extended basis and that leads to a larger question looming over Luke Bryan as an artist–is he in danger of becoming pigeonholed?
Sure, it’s early in his career, but with his distinct, nasally twang and the corporate manufactured country boy image, he runs the risk of becoming a caricature of that very image in the same way that Gretchen Wilson is “The Redneck Woman.” The problem with that should be obvious and I don’t think his interpretive skills are strong enough to break out of that box once he’s placed in it. And once he is cornered, radio will become reticent to to play anything that isn’t a redneck/country/frat boy party anthem and the hits will eventually dry up.
So then, why release “Country Man” as a single? He already sent the hit “All My Friends Say” to radio followed by “We Rode In Trucks,” the first of which plays on the party frat boy image and the latter fulfills its country boy duties, but after stalling out in the thirties, he needed another uptempo hit–now, and considering the material on his album, not much else would break the mold and fit the bill.
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