Somewhere around track 10, I stopped trying to count the clichés and references to back roads, fishing holes, boots, and good kissin’. Suffice to say, the number was high.
“Kick the Dust Up” has been renewed ad nauseum, yet it still feels like it would be appropriate to remark on how terrible this song is.
This is where the album finds itself getting a little bit jumpy. “Strip It Down” is a song similar to Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down,” though the song at least seems to be reaching for something a bit more suggesting that the couple is trying to recover from a period of distance. There is some callbacks to a previous Dierks Bentley hit, “Come a Little Closer.” I’ll be honest, I don’t completely hate this song. It could be a whole lot worse, and the production isn’t too bad, but it’s still pretty cliché ridden, and Luke still can’t get through even this song without mentioning back roads and summertime heat.
“Home Alone Tonight” finds the album right back on the wrong path. And “Razor Blade” isn’t a bad song; in fact, it feels like some effort was put in to the song. “Fast” though finds itself right back into cliché-ridden paradise with a song about how time goes by too quickly. This is the kind of theme which can be done well, but nothing about the song is original. Honestly, this one sounds like it was one that was rejected by Kenny Chesney.
“Move.” I wonder what this song is going to be about. Prediction: it’s going to be about wanting to move with a pretty girl out on a dancefloor and hoping to get with her. Final verdict: it’s a song about watching a sexy girl dance and move underneath the southern sky and wanting to get with her so bad that he can’t move when he watches her move. OK, the prediction was close enough. I won’t even get in to how awful this song sounds.
“As soon as the next song started, I was wishing it was” [David Caruso flip of sunglasses] “just over.”
“Love It Gone” is yet another predictable song that can be telegraphed from the moment it starts to the second it ends. It’s predictable and boring. “Way Way Back” feels like another Kenny Cheney reject.
“To the Moon and Back” and “Scarecrows” are the only true bright spots on the album. “To the Moon and Back” is a throwback to what Luke was capable of before he hit it big and sold out. It’s a reminder of what he could still do if he was willing to put in the time and effort. It’s subtle, it’s toned back, it’s mostly cliché-free, it’s well-produced. “Scarecrows” feels a little bit like “We Rode in Trucks” from his first album
I wouldn’t venture to say that the album has more than two true bright spots; I will say that you can see a little bit of sun hiding behind the clouds, but it’s nowhere near enough to give this album any kind of positive light. And unfortunately, the album waits until the very end to give anything worth the time, and by that point, I didn’t feel like listening anymore. When Bryan isn’t in his EDM dance mode, it’s mostly pure pop, with a little Kenny Chesney-esque beat thrown in in a couple of different songs. My opinion of Bryan may have actually worsened, due to the fact that the couple good songs show us that he’s still capable of putting out something good…he’s just not willing to take the time to do more of it.