Country music today has been plagued with “wannabe outlaws” who use their pop sound and pandering lyrics to try and relate to their fans who really do live what they are singing about. Gone are the days of rising artists paying their dues by playing smoky dive bars in neighborhoods that make you question if you really want to be there after dark. Gone are the days of true outlaws who really didn’t give a damn what people thought of them, your Merle Haggard’s, your Waylon Jennings’s, your Johnny Cash’s. Country music is longing for a new badass, because the current crop of artists is seriously lacking. Luke Combs may be country music’s newest outlaw.
Luke Combs is a genuine artist who has paid his dues and recently released his debut album “This One’s for You” (with the deluxe edition “This One’s for You Too” released soon after). Combs is an artist who doesn’t try to relate to his listeners, he just does it. From nostalgic beer-tinged tracks like “Out There,” and “Memories Are Made Of,” to fun and catchy up-beat songs like “Beer Can” and “When it Rains it Pours” to breakup songs that tug at the heartstrings like “One Number Away,” “Lonely One,” and “Be Careful What You Wish For.” He even includes a heartfelt love song in “Beautiful Crazy” on the deluxe edition.
From his debut single, “Hurricane,” to his current one, “She Got the Best of Me” (from the deluxe edition) the North Carolina native has shown the country music community who he really is: a whisky drinking badass who will produce music with substance, and not simply pander to his audience. Luke Combs has gotten the first one right, I don’t think there is any doubt about that, this is one of the few albums where almost every song could be a single on the radio. Now, he must focus that the success of his debut album does not lead to complacency and a subsequent sophomore slump with his next album. I would love the chance to see Luke in concert and eagerly await his next album.
Standout Tracks: Hurricane, Memories Are Made Of, She Got the Best of Me, & Beautiful Crazy