Since the 2017 release of his debut album, This One’s for You, Luke Combs has become one of country music’s fastest rising stars. In a sea of tight pants, trucks, and auto-tune, Combs has emerged from the pack as a true talent, known for relying on honest lyrics and traditional country with a modern twist.
Today (November 8), Combs released his sophomore album on Columbia Nashville, What You See Is What You Get, which once again pairs him with the man behind his debut album, producer Scott Moffat. In many ways, this offering is a natural extension of the first album, showing Combs stretching himself, lyrically and musically, without compromising the sound that endeared him to millions.
Combs previewed the album’s first five tracks earlier this year when he released his stellar The Prequel-EP in June. Opening with the first single, and number one smash, “Beer Never Broke My Heart,” the album sails through those songs, including the single-worthy “Refrigerator Door” and the poignant current top 5 radio single, “Even Though I’m Leaving.”
The Prequel-EP was the perfect preview for the seventeen track album, which shows Combs effortlessly flowing from raucous party songs to romantic reflections of love. While some of what Combs does would be considered cliche for any other artist, he manages to pull it off in a way that seems authentic. There’s “Blue Collar Boys,” which celebrates the working man, and while the concept has been done before, Combs just does it oh-so-well.
Likewise, “1, 2 Many” is a drinking song in the vein of Blake Shelton’s “The More I Drink,” but Combs shines here. By pairing him with Brooks & Dunn, he continues to establish himself as a traditionalist with a modern touch. He also shows himself to be a stellar vocalist, matching verses with Ronnie Dunn, one of the genre’s great voices.
Speaking of greats, Combs also joins forces with Eric Church on “Does To Me,” a song celebrating the accomplishments in one’s life that might seem inconsequential, including a little league hit and a date to the prom. “So say I’m a middle of the road/ Not much to show/ Underachieving average Joe/ I’m a hell of a lover/ A damn good brother/ And I wear this heart on my sleeve,” Combs proclaims. “That might not mean much to you, but it does to me.”
The theme of Combs as a relatable every-man continues to be prevalent through the album, including on the album’s title track “What You See Is What You Get” and the rollicking “Angels Working Overtime.” He’s reflective on “New Every Day,” as he moves on from a breakup, “learning something new every day,” and on “Reasons,” where he reflects on the decisions that change one’s life. “So if you see me soaking in these thoughts I’m thinking/ Drowning in some bar room off the deep end,” He sings. “I’ve got my reasons.”
While the album runs the gamut of sounds and emotions, it’s the last track that is sure to stir the heart. The final song, “Better Together,” is a striking piano ballad that shows a softer side of Combs. “Some things just go better together/ Probably always will,” He sings of fiancé , Nicole Hocking, “What’s the point of this old guitar/ If it ain’t got no strings / Or pouring your heart in to a song / That you ain’t gonna sing / It’s a match made up in heaven / Like good old boys and beer/ And me, as long as you’re right here.”
While many artists fall into a sophomore slump, there’s no sign of that on What You See Is What You Get. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, and it turns out what we see and get from Luke Combs is exactly what we want.
What You See Is What You Get Track List
1. “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (Luke Combs/Randy Montana/Jonathan Singleton)
2. “Refrigerator Door” (Luke Combs/Jordan Brooker)
3. “Even Though I’m Leaving” (Luke Combs/Wyatt Durrette/Ray Fulcher)
4. “Lovin’ On You” (Luke Combs/Thomas Archer/Ray Fulcher/James McNair)
5. “Moon Over Mexico” (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Dan Isbell/Jonathan Singleton)
6. “1, 2 Many” (feat. Brooks & Dunn) (Luke Combs/Dan Isbell/Tyler King/Drew Parker)
7. “Blue Collar Boys” (Luke Combs/Erik Dylan/Ray Fulcher/Derrick Moody)
8. “New Every Day” (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Josh Thompson)
9. “Reasons” (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/James McNair)
10. “Every Little Bit Helps” (Luke Combs/Chase McGill/James McNair)
11. “Dear Today” (Luke Combs/Erik Dylan/Rob Snyder)
12. “What You See Is What You Get” (Luke Combs/Barry Dean/Jonathan Singleton)
13. “Does to Me” (feat. Eric Church) (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Tyler Reeve)
14. “Angels Workin’ Overtime” (Luke Combs/Josh Phillips/Josh Thompson)
15. “All Over Again” (Luke Combs/Corey Crowder/Ray Fulcher)
16. “Nothing Like You” (Luke Combs/Drew Parker/Robert Williford)
17. “Better Together” (Luke Combs/Dan Isbell/Randy Montana)
Combs is currently on tour through early 2020 in support of his new album and will hit Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, with Morgan Wallen and Jameson Rogers, on November 22.
What You See Is What You Get is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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