Luke Bryan — “I Don’t Want This Night to End”
With his last single “Country Girl (Shake it for Me),” Luke Bryan finally forged a memorable identity in mainstream country music.
Before the ubiquitous hit took over airwaves this summer, he came close with “Rain is a Good Thing,” a similarly lust-soaked tune about females on the farm. However, with “Who sings that song again?” tunes such as “Do I” and “All My Friends Say,” Bryan still only nebulously existed somewhere amidst all the other young male country singers that could be convincingly passed off as Rodney Atkins’ little brothers.
“Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” was released on the heels of two Number One songs, and struck a new chord – although for some, the wrong one – with catchy lyrics such as “Shake it for the young bucks sittin’ in the honky-tonks/For the rednecks rockin’ ’til the break of dawn/For the DJ spinnin’ that country song,” all sung with a relatively straight face. Like Jason Aldean rapping on “Dirt Road,” it melded together hip-hop undertones set to a barnstorming production of fiddles and guitar, serving as a fitting party tune for Bryan’s official coming out song on radio.
The expected follow-up single, then, would have large shoes to fill, and in part “I Don’t Want This Night to End” delivers. It’s filled with testosterone-fueled proclamations such as “Do anything to make your smile land on my lips/And get drunk on your kiss” that Bryan delivers with high energy, hitting the slow-but-not-too-slow mark with convincing ease. But while everything chugs along just fine, the song’s biggest problem is what happens once it’s over. “I Don’t Want This Night to End” leaves nothing to be remembered, abusing its vague love story to the point it’s entirely unremarkable. In fact, its most unforgettable attribute is how aggressively (and borderline creepily) he drives home the lyric “you’re looking so damn hot” to his new female friend. The four names listed on the songwriting credits – including Bryan, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip – suggest too many brothers at the frat party, with any trace of originality getting lost in searing guitar riffs.
At 35, Bryan isn’t as young as his annual “Spring Break” EPs and latest album title “Tailgates and Tanlines” suggest. But he has clearly tapped into that demographic, in a way not seen since Kenny Chesney first ran away with many a college co-ed’s heart. Unfortunately, despite its title, “I Don’t Want This Night to End” is nothing but a disposable song that has the staying power of only 3 minutes and 40 seconds.
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