Luke Bryan – “Do I”

Stephen Deusner | May 22nd, 2009

Luke Bryan Songwriters: Luke Bryan, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley

If saying “I do” is the ultimate romantic gesture, then asking “Do I?” is its inverse—a romantic ultimatum. This new single from Luke Bryan’s upcoming sophomore album, Doin’ My Thing, concerns the gradual loss of passion in a relationship, culminating in a worried chorus that asks some pretty tough questions: “Do I turn you on at all when I kiss you, baby,” Bryan sings. “Do I have your love? Am I still enough?”

There’s nothing sordid or glamorous about those questions, which the Georgia native co-wrote with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. Rather, the scenario is all the more affecting for its mundanity. Every couple gets to this point in their relationship. Some work through it. Others don’t. “Do I” implies no hint of a happily ever after, and that ambiguity gives the lyrics extra impact.

Bryan’s performance implies very little, however. He’s a capable singer of upbeat songs like “All My Friends Say” and even on a nostalgic anthem such as “We Rode in Trucks,” which showcases a confident voice with a strange tone that occasionally threatens to morph into an ungainly honk. That vocal quality makes his more rock-oriented material sound excitable and catchy, especially on his iTunes-only EP Spring Break With All My Friends.

On “Do I,” he nails the melody technically, but never quite conveys much desperation or despair. There’s no worry in his voice, nor does it sound like he’s trying to keep a stoic front. Instead, he sounds slightly removed from the predicament he’s describing, which seems just beyond his dramatic range.

Musically, “Do I” trades in some of the more traditional country elements that distinguished his debut for a fairly bland rock-ballad arrangement. But Hillary Scott’s backing vocals stand out for their soulfulness–so much so that the Lady Antebelum singer should consider recording a cover–and an elegant fiddle sails through the verses creating an appropriately melancholy mood. These are the highlights of an otherwise half-hearted performance of a broken-hearted song.

Thumbs Down

  1. Clemson Brad
    May 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I think Luke is much better with Up-Tempo songs, and this song definitly feels like it has been done before, but I still like it.

  2. Paula_W
    May 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I like it.

  3. sobriety sucks
    May 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Do I hate this song baby, maybe..yeah I do

  4. Lauren
    May 22, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Are you joking? This song is AMAZING. We have to disagree. Thumbs WAY up.

  5. Brady Vercher
    May 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    This one sounds fairly decent, but isn’t very inspired. Overall, it doesn’t really bother me too much, but I just gotta say good job on the review. He does sound somewhat disconnected from the material.

  6. Noeller
    May 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    This song sounds almost IDENTICAL to Jason Aldean’s “Why”. “Why do I always have to………….” I dunno…something in the arrangement, and not just the lyrics, makes it eerily similar.

    I liked Aldean’s cut alright, and this one isn’t bad. Great call on the vocal disconnect. It’s like he didn’t really understand what he was singing, and just went into the booth and read some words.

  7. Leeann Ward
    May 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    The melody just sounds too predictable…like the balads that plagued the nineties thanks to John Michael Montgomery, Collin Raye and even Joe Diffie, etc. It’s like it was trying too hard to be catchy.

  8. Rick
    May 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Luke’s voice just doesn’t really suit material like this song, but I give him credit for trying. As a pop-country power ballad I think this song works just fine and is enjoyable the way it stands. At least it wouldn’t cause me to change the radio station if it came on the air anyway.

    PS – I would love to hear a Lady Antebellum version fronted by either Hillary or Charles and think it would be killer. Luke should have let Lady A have this song so he could earn the songwriter royalties when it sold a lot more copies in the long run…

  9. John
    May 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Are you kidding me? This song is a very lovely song. Thumbs up!

  10. elizabeth
    May 22, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I LOVE this song. I am so glad Luke put out a slow song. I totally disagree with this review, Thumbs up!!!

  11. Tristan
    May 22, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    You guys find something wrong in every song don’t you? lol I guess that’s just your job, although I’m not as picky as the staff of the9513, as I like this song.

  12. Amber
    May 22, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Are you seriously freakin kidding me?! This is an amazing song and no one could have done it better than Luke! It def. deserves great recognition!

  13. Rich
    May 22, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    The best song he’s ever done. And I do like his other songs. Nice job Luke.

  14. merlefan49
    May 22, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I agree with the review.

  15. Ronna
    May 22, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I love Luke’s voice and I think he does a beautiful job with “Do I.” You all at the 9513 have obviously never seen/heard him live in concert…he can hold a note longer and stronger than anyone I’ve seen. Go in person and listen to him sing Good Directions – which he wrote – and see if that doesn’t blow your mind!

  16. Stormy
    May 22, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    But that begs the question: Who have you seen?

  17. Todd
    May 22, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I like Luke a lot and I think the song is okay but this combo of artist and song just doesn’t work. agree there seems to be a disconnect emotionally in his performance and Luke’s vocals just don’t fit this style of song very well. This seems more like something Craig Morgan should be cutting to me.

  18. Todd
    May 22, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    *EDIT: “I agree”

  19. Erik
    May 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone try to look prettier than Luke tries to in that promo shot.

  20. merlefan49
    May 23, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Ronna,

    Have you ever seen Don Rigsby or Larry Stephenson in concert? They are two bluegrass singers that can hold a note for a very long time.

  21. Rick
    May 23, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Let’s see part of the reason why Luke is so popular these days! Here are the Top 12 from People magazine’s new list of the “Hottest Guys In Country Music” for 2009:

    1. Trace Adkins
    2. Dierks Bentley
    3. Luke Bryan
    4. Kenny Chesney
    5. Jack Ingram
    6. Tim McGraw
    7. Jake Owen
    8. Brad Paisley
    9. Blake Shelton
    10. Josh Turner
    11. Keith Urban
    12. Chuck Wicks

    Note how Luke holds down position # 3, which means soccer moms and teen girls find him irresistible! (lol) Back in the days when a truly talented artist like Wade Hayes was on the charts Luke would have seemed like a lightweight artist in comparison. By today’s much lower standards he’s at least acceptable….

  22. Nicolas
    May 24, 2009 at 12:36 am

    ^ He holds down the #3 position due to his last name being ‘Bryan’

    That Top 12 list is given in alphabetical order, not order of hotness

  23. Linda Rae Slife
    May 25, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I have not seen him in person but I do like most of his songs. “I Do” is OK but it is not my favorite.

  24. Scott
    May 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Are you kidding me? I think that this review is way off base…Without sounding whiney or dramatic, Luke Bryan captures the essence of what his words convey…questioning ambiguity. I can almost picture him having a conversation encompassing the words and ideas of this song. It’s excellent. Accordingly, I respectfully dissent from the review, and give it an emphatic thumbs up!!

  25. Alesha
    June 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    I love this song!!! Really, i could listen to it all day, and i have. lol.. He did a very good job singing it, im sure it will touch allot of people, it has touched me. Once again, I LOVE IT>

  26. Emilie
    July 9, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I first heard this song in my truck at 5:30am on my way to work and was blown away. I think Luke’s “disconnection” from the lyrics or lack of seeming emotion actually heightens the intensity of the song. The lyrics are deep and true and his performance was risky but I think he nailed it. Yes, it’s not the typical whining break up song that people are used to. However, the lack of emotion in his voice is typical of what one would expect early in the morning after a long night with a bottle of whisky questioning his relationship. I thought it was brilliant.

  27. TERESA
    July 26, 2009 at 12:58 am

    i THINK YOU ALL ARE CRAZY. i FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS SONG THE FIRST TIME i HEARD IT. i ALSO WENT STRAIGHT OUT AND WAS GONNA BUY THE cd but the store was out and I was really mad!!!!!!!

  28. Stormy
    July 26, 2009 at 9:51 am

    You know what they say about love at first sight?

  29. Lucas
    July 26, 2009 at 11:10 am

    For me… a ballad has to be perfect for me to like it, so I don’t like this. I’ve heard this chorus ten million times before.

    Sloppy songwriting “Seems like you could care less either way”. I’ve done that before as a TYPO on things like college papers, but in a cut song that gets sent to radio?

  30. Lucas
    July 26, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I really don’t hear the emotion in this either.

  31. Emgee
    August 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    This song is phenomenal.

  32. merlefan49
    August 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Nothing special.

  33. HANNAH
    September 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I LOVE THIS SONG!!!

  34. Melanie
    September 30, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Asked my guy my if we should part for a while. My words came out ALL wrong!! If I had Luke Bryan’s “Do I” to play for him that day?….maybe he wouldn’t be gone…..Miss you baby,… Melanie

  35. Dudley
    October 2, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Horseshit review. From an as usual horseshit reviewer.

  36. Janette
    November 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    wow I normally agree with the reviews on 9513 but to my surprise I actually really like this Luke Bryan song! Melody is nice and the lyrics seem to hit home.

  37. ashley godfrey
    September 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

    i really like this song it makes me thick of my boyfriend sammy i really love him i wish that he will understand what i say to him over the phone and he knows i love him and i hope he knows i love him very much this song is 4 u sammy love u.

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