It might not sound like much of a compliment, but if rising country singer Luke Bryan were a rock star, he would be “Blaze of Glory”-era Jon Bon Jovi, although the same could be said for lots of people.
Like many of his peers, Bryan specializes in rock-and-pop-inflected country songs with an imperceptibly dated arena rock sheen. (Bryan’s
last album featured a cover of OneRepublic’s “Apologize” that could have been an original.)
Most of Bryan’s third disc hits the elusive sweet spot between mainstream country and cheesy rock. The ballads are weepy, the choruses big, the sentiments broad, the arrangements and instrumentation calculated to appeal to as wide a base as possible.
The shimmying lead single “Country Girl (Shake It for Me),” risque by Nashville standards, is the closest country music has come to turning out a banger, complete with a shout-out to the DJ.