• Darby VanDeVeen

Luke Bryan Delivers a Predictable, Yet Enjoyable Album With ‘Born Here Live Here Die Here’

“Bryan finds a good blend of radio friendly while still having some songs that show his depth as an artist.”

While the core themes of country music haven’t changed in some time (relationships, booze and nostalgia), country music artists are challenging their creative ability to keep expressing the same thoughts in different ways. Luke Bryan delivers 10 new tracks, each touching on these themes on his seventh-studio album Born Here Live Here Die Here.

As similar the messages of country music are, Bryan manages to capture a full range of emotions in 34 minutes. From seeing an ex in a bar and realizing they're not as upset as you (“Little Less Broken”) to reminiscing about life lessons learned from a father (“For a Boat”) and good memories that only last a night (“Where Are We Goin’”). Luke Bryan has been criticized in the past for sticking to a traditional country “nucleus” of trucks, back roads and fishing. While some of these songs fall prey to this trap, others are surprisingly deep.

“Build Me a Daddy” is the saddest song on the album and definitely a tearjerker. I’d be lying if I said a few tears didn’t fall once I realized what it was about. The song is from the perspective of a little boy who lost his father, who was a soldier, asking a toy shop owner to build him a new father. Details that could come across as cheesy (“he said when I got older, we could work on that curveball”) come across as an earnest plea to have the little moments with his dad back. In the same vein as “Drink a Beer,” “Build Me a Daddy” is about loss and how to deal with it. Songs like these are what give Bryan the depth he so desperately needs to be respected in country music.

On a lighter note, “One Margarita” is one of my favorite songs released this summer. Good lighthearted fun is the best way to describe this song, and it’s one of those that are why Luke Bryan is famous to start with. A catchy chorus about drinking is bound to be a staple at tailgates and barbecues soon enough. No Luke Bryan album would be complete without a hometown pride song and “Born Here Live Here Die Here” does just that. Expressing his love for his small hometown while other country stars tend to write about wanting to escape a “one stoplight town” sets him apart.

All in all this album is pure Luke Bryan in every way. While some of the songs are forgettable, Bryan finds a good blend of radio friendly while still having some songs that show his depth as an artist.


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