Tailgates & Tanlines

The third time around, Luke Bryan doubles down on his calling card: his inherent sweetness, the warmth he has as the country boy next door. Bryan is so genial that when he implores his country girl to “shake it for me,” there’s nary a trace of lasciviousness: he just wants to be sure she’s having a good time. This aw-shucks generosity resonates throughout Tailgates Tanlines, a record that capitalizes on the relaxed professionalism of 2009’s Doin’ My Thing. Bryan’s bright setting plays as pop -- it’s too clean and crisp, too bereft of grit to ever be mistaken as something hardcore -- but his foundation is pure country, songs that are sturdy and unfussy, never bothering with sugary pop hooks
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