Luke Combs is one of the most promising young talents in country music today. For every artist that relies on auto-tune and ghost writers, there are ones like Combs who provide true talent. Originally from Ashville, North Carolina, the 23 year old has released two EP’s and has garnered a rabid fan base in the South with his powerful vocals and extreme song writing talent. Best exemplified on “Let the Moonshine,” “I Know She Ain’t Ready,” and “Hell Raised Her,” he is a versatile artist who unapologetically flies the classic country music flag.
After only releasing two singles from their last studio album, 10,000 Towns, Eli Young Band has released of Turn It On. The four song EP includes the title track as well as “Plastic,” “Your Place or Mine” and “Drink You Up.”
The title track and “Drink You Up” best capture what the group is trying to do with these releases. Straying from their trademark Eagles, southern and soft rock sound, both of these break new ground with a bro-country feel. They are repetitive, up-tempo, and lack the depth of many of the songs that made them so popular in the past. “Drink You Up’ is especially unique as it utilizes a modern drum beat and cliche lyrics.
“Your Place or Mine” and “Plastic,” are slightly more traditional but still different. “Plastic” could be a Florida Georgia Line cut with its easy-going beat and Joey Moi produced-esque guitar sounds. “Your Place or Mine” is probably the best and most familiar sounding song on the album. In a Rolling Stone interview, lead singer Mike Eli described the track as a prequel to their last no. 1 song, “Drunk Last Night.”
The success of the EP and its singles will determine where the group takes their careers from this point. None of the songs are bad per se, just extremely different and a drastic change from what we’ve heard in the past. If done in gradual steps this transition from 80s rock country to bro-country could have been seamless, but this sudden shift might be too much too fast. Every artist knows that they need to push boundaries and get lucky to hit the peak of stardom and avoid a career plateau, but these new songs are so out-of-character that it comes off as desperate. Although a single or two off of this EP will probably climb inside the top 15, it is hard to see it doing much more. Although different from their old sound, three of the four songs are too generic, in terms of the genre as a whole, to gain any real traction for a group trying to hit the next level of success.
At just twenty years old Jordan Rager has already accomplished a ton. He was discovered at age 15 when performing at a Susan G. Komen charity event. From there he’s appeared on NBC’s The Voice, been a staple on 94.9 The Bull out of Atlanta, gone on tour with Justin Moore, and gained a YouTube fan base over twenty thousand strong. Despite all the success, Rager is still as humble and hungry as ever. He recently signed a recording deal with BBR Music Group and expects his debut single to drop within the next couple of months. We talked with Jordan about his debut record, being on the road with Justin Moore, and any advice he had for young people looking to make it in Nashville.
Fans of Cole Swindell were treated to a nice little pre holiday treat today with the release of his new EP Down Home Sessions. Five previously unreleased tracks make up the EP and give fans a taste of what’s to come from Swindell in the future. Highlighted by “Ready” and “The Way You’re Lovin’ Me Now,” Swindell is able to show his progression as an artist in just five songs.