Luke Bryan - Doin' My Thing
By: Matt Bjorke
The second album in an artist’s career is often the hardest album to make. Because they had the advantage of time to make their first album and have great songs to choose from their catalog (if they’re writers), the singer often finds themselves hurried and worried about album number two. From one listen Doin’ My Thing, it looks like Luke Bryan doesn’t have to worry about a sophomore slum as he seems to have gotten better both musically and vocally on album number two. Losing none of the charm that made “All My Friends Say” and “Country Man” hits, Bryan kicks off the record with the banjo, fiddle and Hammond b-3 laced “Rain Is A Good Thing,” a song that feels tailor-made for people to sing-a-long to as Luke lists off how rain begets corn which begets whiskey which begets a frisky girl etc. It’s fun, basically nonsensical song that actually recalls Brad Paisley’s cute humor-packed songs.
The title track is written by the same team that wrote Jack Ingram’s Top 10 hit “Barefoot & Crazy” and Joe Nichols’ new single “Gimme That Girl” and like both the aforementioned songs, “Doin’ My Thing” is an up-tempo, radio ready song about enjoying life. Like “Rain is a Good Thing,” the song isn’t meant to be serious so it feels like an entertaining three minutes that it is. “What Country Is” uses a banjo and steel-infused smokey melody to back up lyrics that recall something one might find on a Kenny Chesney album but instead of being ‘beachy,’ the song is instead a smartly, written fun song that proclaims that ‘it can’t be bought, it’s what you’re born with, that’s what country is.’
The majority of the album is comprised of uptempo tracks like those mentioned above but aside from lead single “Do I” (click here to read the single review) the other interesting ballad is Luke’s cover of the One Republic pop song “Apologize.” Aside from the ballad following a recent trend of covering pop songs new and old, the song actually works. Here’s a song where Luke shows off both his ability to stretch his voice a bit in the falsetto-laced chorus and an apt ability to cover a well-known song but managing to keep it well within his own country genre as instead of the strings used in the original, the producer (Jeff Stevens) chose a steel guitar to create the atmospheric nature of the melody.
“Drinkin’ Beer and Wasting Bullets” which recalls “Wanted Dead or Alive” at times, finds Luke Bryan using his “Deere Green Tractor” as a tree stand to shoot at empty beer cans for target practice while he waits on a deer. While not remotely ‘politically correct’ the song does work well for a nice tie-in to the album’s opening tracks. It’s not serious, nor is it intended to be. Instead the song works as a ‘fun’ album closer which ties up the album nicely. Fans of workmanlike, not too serious country music should find something to enjoy on Doin’ My Thing. The record also will help Luke dodge that dreaded sophomore slump that often affects young artists.