Luke Combs – “What You See Is What You Get” Album Review
Luke Combs has dominated the country charts since his first album in 2017, winning Country Artist of the Year, Top Male Country Artist, and Best country Album at the Billboard Music Awards. For his upcoming show in February at the Bryce Jordan Center, he broke the record for the fastest selling show ever at the BJC.
His previous album “This One’s for You,” which debuted on June 2, 2017, immediately went to the number one spot on the country charts. It is clear Luke Combs is on the list of the biggest artists in country music.
For his newest album “What You See Is What You Get,” Combs delivers track after track of powerful vocals, fun lyrics, and excellent country musicianship.
“Beer Never Broke My Heart” jump starts the album with a sing-a-long power ballad that audiences have been loving since its release in June. With over 70 million streams on Spotify, the song is on track to gain even more prominence with the latest album release.
The first half of the album is filled with slower yet positive songs. “Refrigerator Door” and “Even Though I’m Leaving” are the perfect tracks to play alongside one another. Similar in topics, the lyrics each touch upon fading memories and the relationships we have with the people who surround those memories.
“Just the places that I've been before/ Couple magnets, recipes, and Polaroids/ Yeah, but that's my life on the 'frigerator door” from “Refrigerator Door” compare to his lyrics in “Even Though I’m Leaving” that are about his father; “But I'll always be right there/ Even though I'm leavin', I ain't goin' nowhere.” It brings out a deeper side to Combs rather than having countless songs about alcohol.
The middle of the album is strong. With track after track of powerful vocals and the kind of songs that true country fans love. “Blue Collar Boys” provides imagery for a Saturday afternoon relaxing with friends. “New Every Day” is equally as strong and has the potential to be electric when played in concert but just as powerful if played acoustic in a smaller setting.
On the back half of the album, Combs provides us with the same amount of strength he started with. “Reasons,” “Dear Today,” and the title track “What You See is What You Get” are all great examples of what Luke Combs is; a regular guy who does not take anything for granted or forget the important people in his life.
“What You See is What You Get” is a song playing off his character: “I'm a straight shootin'/ Beer drinkin', rule breakin'/ Don't think I won't take a good thing too far.” These lyrics may seem traditional, but if the audience has seen Combs come up from his first hit “Hurricane” and have seen him perform, they’ll understand that he is amongst the few whose production process for making an album does not include a “clap track” or any pop beats that are found in other country albums.
There are two features on the album. Brooks & Dunn guest on the short but fun “1, 2 Many,” another bar anthem.
The and more meaningful, sincere feature, however, is “Does to Me” which features praised artist Eric Church. The song has themes of the little moments in life that may not seem life changing to everyone, but are life changing to the people it happened to. Combs and Church, both Appalachian State alums, seem to have common ground. Country fans will recognize that “Does to Me” could be released by either artist; it fits both their styles and lyrical themes. Fans shouldn’t be surprised if Combs features on a Church song in the near future.
Overall the album reminds fans what country is. Unlike some artists that have gone more “pop country” like Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, and even Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs plays what he likes.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10
Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Refrigerator Door,” “Moon Over Mexico,” “Reasons,” and “Does to Me”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: N/A
William Roche is a junior majoring in film/video. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.