It’s spring break for some colleges this week and even more kids will venture down south next week. We learned in mid-January that 2015 would be the last time Luke Bryan headed down with thousands of college co-eds. After spending six years performing – partying – in Panama City, Bryan decided 2015 would be a good time to call it quits.
Even at 38 years old, Bryan can likely hold his own with the kids, but keep in mind the man has a wife and kids at home. He took home country’s biggest award at the CMA’s in 2014 and will host the ACM Awards for a third consecutive year come April. He’s a totally different person and artist than he was when he started the Spring Break phenomenon back in 2009. Back then he was trying to win over fans anyway he possibly could. Fast forward six years and he’s arguably country’s biggest star.
He’ll release the final edition of the spring break albums next week, before playing two free shows on the beach at PCB on March 11 and 12. The full length album includes six new tracks plus the entire Like We Ain’t Ever EP release a year ago. That means fan favorites “She Get Me High” and title track “Like We Ain’t Ever” support newer tracks like “Spring Breakdown” and “Games.” If you’ve heard these albums in the past you know they simply don’t compare.
They’re stripped down and raw. The lack of production gives fans a realistic taste of Bryan’s actual voice. But, take away the production and his vocals still hold their own and that’s a good thing. As country begins to add more and more production to studio tracks, critics begin to question the vocal talent of up and coming stars. Bryan doesn’t fit this category precisely, but his meteoric rise to the top left some wondering how he stacked up talent wise.
It’s these Spring Break albums that help Bryan prove he’s always had what it takes. They’ve always been pitched to the public as Bryan wanting to connect with a younger generation of country fans – and has he ever. But there’s a deeper purpose behind the releases, they help prove his ability. So after winning CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award in 2014, selling out venues such as Gillette Stadium and Soldier Field, and scoring five number one hits on his last studio album, Crash My Party, the doubters and the Spring Break albums disappeared for good.
Luke Bryan released his final spring break album titled, Checkin’ Out today.