If you’d like to read my initial thoughts on Luke Bryan, go here.
I won’t pretend to know the name of the music awards program that I saw Luke Bryan perform on. I also won’t pretend to think that he did either. But as I watched him implant an audience of willing adults with songs about how he country’d so hard that he redneck’d all over a tractor-shaped woman, I couldn’t help but notice his eyes. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and if that quote is bullshit, then consider me wrong for once.
But he actually believes himself.
A lot of musicians put on personas when they perform, making their music somewhat detached. If they didn’t, then Katy Perry’s entire next album will be about how her herpes infested ex-husband is going to rob her fucking blind in a divorce settlement. I hope it’s called “Well, I Deserved It.” But not ol’ Luke. Luke Bryan performs with the intensity of someone telling a crowd that unless they drink the poison, the spaceship won’t come. If the woman Luke Bryan loves doesn’t own at least 4 cowboy hats, wearing one at all times, he feeds her to dogs. Whenever Luke Bryan is around rain, his legs change into four-wheeler tires and his body is forced to go muddin’. That’s a geographical/biological fact.
I don’t want to say that I hate Luke Bryan, so I’ll put it in veiled terms. I hope that whenever he writes his next song in the studio, when he pulls it out of his binder, the words magically become slang terms for “music that non-whites like too.” Then he’ll ponder for an hour because the only association he’s ever had with the term “ethnic” was when he was forced to order brown rice once. I also hate to use the phrase “so white” when describing Luke, but if you don’t play his albums backward and hear a thirty-something sales assistant talk about how great their weekend rock climbing trip was, you’re the devil and what did you do with logic.
“All My Friends Say”
From the album, I’ll Stay Me
“I got smoke in my hair
My clothes thrown everywhere
Woke up in my rocking chair
Holding a beer in my hand
Sporting a neon tan…”
I don’t know how Luke Bryan “likes to party,” but I can only imagine that it includes Coors Light and a girl’s muffled sobbing. Luke Bryan’s hangover sounds like the type of thing someone does when they’re trying to prove that they have a problem. He’s naked, smelling like smoke, in a rocking chair, still clutching his drink. Did he fall asleep before or after he made the people-skin suit? And a “neon tan?” It speaks volumes when your lyrics make it sound like your idea of a good time is getting drunk at a tanning bed salon or failing to drink a glow stick.
“…I found my billfold
I cried oh no no
Good time Charlie got me now I’m broke
But it was worth acting like a fool
Yeah girl I must have really showed you…”
Reading the entirety of this song make it clear that Luke saw his ex-girlfriend with another man and went nuts. He is already a little psychotic, considering that the undertones of his lines make it seem like he works daily as a singer and nightly as a serial murderer, but now he’s out for blood, and shots. There’s no better way to prove that you’re over someone than acting like an intoxicated idiot in front of them, but it all comes together with the inclusion of one minor detail. And that detail is “Good time Charlie,” Luke Bryan’s Dark Passenger. Let me explain.
In the Showtime series, Dexter, the protagonist Dexter Morgan is serial killer who only kills criminals and other murderers. When he’s not performing useless internal monologues about whatever mundane activity he’s performing, he’ll often talk about his “dark passenger,” the entity inside him that drives him to kill. I believe that Luke Bryan has the same inner demon, driving him to not only out-country everyone on the fucking planet, but to murder. It’s plain to see in his lyrics that if Luke Bryan was any more insane, he’d be mailing puzzles to the police, so I think that he must have a dark passenger that he’s trying to quell in order to maintain a relatively normal life. Someone promote me to Detective.
“We Rode In Trucks”
“…There’s a lot about life
You can learn on a bus.
How to lie, how to fight,
How to kiss, how to cuss…”
There’s a lot about life that can be learned on a bus? You have me intrigued, Luke Bryan. Obviously the public school system failed you so much that they use your test scores as a grading scale for teaching gorillas how to paint, but the fact that you attribute a majority of life’s lessons to a moving, stupid child container makes me think that maybe the root of evil isn’t in your heart, but in your brain. It’s nature vs. nurture here, and you were nurture’s punching bag.
I didn’t learn a lot on the bus as a kid, but I’ll compare my experiences to yours.
How To Lie: Kind of. Or did I?
How To Fight: A kid flicked a marble into my eye once. Does that count?
How To Kiss: I thought I knew the developmental cycle of a human pretty well, but apparently I missed the all-too-important “make-out on public transportation phase.” Did you first learn sex from watching a dog hump a lunchbox? Was your first foreplay done when a friend told you that all barns were girls?
How To Cuss: Yes. If not for school buses, I would’ve never learned words like “Fagass,” “fagtard” and “dickbrain.”
“…The closer we sat to the back,
The smarter we got…”
I’m sure Luke will soon find that time has proven this wrong. The farther in the back you set usually indicated how close you were to having drug and paraphernalia charges before you were sixteen.
From the album, Doin’ My Thing
“…Do i turn you on at all when i kiss you baby
Does the sight of me wanting you drive you crazy
Do i have your love
Am i still enough
Tell me don’t i or tell me do i baby
Give you everything that you ever wanted
Would you rather just turn away and leave me lonely
Do i just need to give up and get on with my life…”
If there are two things that Luke Bryan has a problem with, it’s getting over women and stopping Good Time Charlie from putting their top-half in one trash bag and their bottom half in another. He usually is successful with the second, probably making wigs out of the locks of hair he’s secretly collected to calm down, but the first never fails to shine through. Considering that Luke Bryan had most of his down-home, all-country, no-gay schoolin’ on a fucking bus, it makes sense that he doesn’t know the proper procedure when finding out if a woman still likes him or not.
A big thing about being a “country man” is that you’re emotionally strong, letting the woman folk be the ones to do all the sissy crying and cushy parts bleeding. But here, Luke whines like a fourteen-year-old girl who’s just been told to get off the back of a moustached man’s motorcycle. “Am I still enough?” Luke, you sang a song about wrestling alligators. You should have women lined up just in case the current one gets dick-cleaved. If the question in any case is, do I need to get on with my life, usually the answer is yes, before one of you kills you.
“Rain Is A Good Thing”
“…Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey
Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky
Back roads are boggin’ up, my buddies pile up in my truck
We hunt our honeys down, we take ‘em into town
Start washin’ all our worries down the drain
Rain is a good thing…”
Aside from having a title that looks like it was taken from a child’s 3rd grade (Luke’s 10th) essay on “What Is Precipitation?,” I can actually agree with part of this song, as it is kind of correct. Rain is a vital part of making corn and corn is an important part of whiskey. However, I attribute this to the editor as Luke’s original lyrics of “…Sex makes babies and whiskey makes more sex, scream, scream and run…” were deemed a little too “out there” for the intended audience.
“Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky” is the last line a man says before he discovers that pupils and mace don’t mix well. The amount of detached emphasis that he puts on “We hunt our honeys down, we take ‘em into town” means that someone is about to put the lotion in the basket. It’s a lot more hidden in this song than in others, but Good Time Charlie is pure id, the embodiment of sex and murder and hay rides. Fathers, lock up your daughters. When it’s time for Luke to rev up his truck, you can be sure that Charlie’s driving.