Luke Bryan’s Spring Break series rolls right along…for a sixth time
Luke Bryan • Spring Break 6…Like We Ain’t Ever • Capitol Nashville • US Release Date: March 11, 2014
Spring break is a rite of passage of sorts for many college-aged kids. The ever youthful Luke Bryan, however, continues to place himself back in his early twenties with his never ending Spring Break series, now on Spring Break 6…Like We Ain’t Ever. There’s nothing wrong with using the crazy antics of spring break as fuel for fire, but approaching 38 years of age, is Bryan stretching it a bit? Regardless, not only is another spring season here, but also so is another EP. Spring Break 6 is good enough to incite enjoyment, but never expands to being ‘great’.
“She Gets Me High” uses some modern production cues that transcend country itself, which certainly catches the ear. The premise of the track is that this girl has got Bryan ‘hot and bothered’: “She get me high / she get me low…No matter how she moving / it’s all the same thrill…watch me fly, she get me high…” Ultimately, “She Gets Me High” is nothing new from Bryan, but does play as a pleasant opener.
Similarly, “Like We Ain’t Ever” works soundly as the titular track, but definitely doesn’t break new ground. “Like we ain’t ever / all been together”, Bryan sings on the chorus, “and try to make one night last forever / once it’s gone, you can’t get it back / so lift ‘em up, y’all, where you at.” If it weren’t for the superb rhythmic ‘machine’ created by banjo within the production, the overall allure might be even less notable as “Like We Ain’t Ever” trends, well, generic-sounding.
On “Night One”, Bryan wishes he’d hooked up with his girl the first night of spring break. Please! “Wish I had met you on night one / before the week, we’d had you and me,” he sings on the chorus, “Being drunk, tangled up, waking up…every night, another party / making out in a crowd…” Like everything else, “Night One” is simple-minded, perhaps even more pronouncedly.
“Are You Leaving With Him” is comparable to the opener “She Gets Me High”, given its more pop-oriented nature. That said, “Are You Leaving With Him” is the least country-centric track of the EP, which personally isn’t necessarily advantageous. Additionally, the tempo is slower, but the track isn’t a ballad. From an analytical aspect, “Are You Leaving With Him” provides little to analyze – just saying!
On “Good Lookin’ Girl”, I give Luke Bryan a ‘pass’ – you’re never too old to sing about a ‘good looking’ girl! The antithesis of “Are You Leaving With Him”, “Good Lookin’ Girl” embraces a truly countrified sound, which bodes better for Bryan. The song is corny, but given Bryan’s sappy charm, it stands out. Lines like “That little dimple when you smile might as well be ahook in my heart” (verse one) are ultimately irresistible.
Closer “The Sand I Brought to the Beach”, co-written with Cole Swindell (and also Michael Carter), isn’t too shabby. One must admit, the chorus is kind of funny: “I think I just lost the sand that I brought to the beach / I guess she didn’t like the Spring Break side of me…” I’d say she didn’t Luke; I’d say she didn’t.
When it’s all said and done, Luke Bryan does Luke Bryan on Spring Break 6. It should be enough to please fans as well as draw criticism from others – critics included. As an artistic statement, Spring Break 6 does little if anything to expand Bryan’s craft. This is an “it is what it is” affair, and perhaps that’s the best perspective of which to examine it.
Favorites: “She Get Me High”; “Good Lookin’ Girl”