Album review: Luke Bryan's 'Spring Break 6...Like We Ain't Never
At 37, Luke Bryan is old enough to be the young dad of kids heading to Spring Break and, yet, for the past several years, he’s reverted back to his 18-year-old self and released a Spring Break EP each March: the mini-albums contain six or so tunes that serve as an aural scrapbook for anyone hitting the beach for sun, surf, girls and beer.
It’s an ingenious idea, actually. The five previous Spring Break EPs have sold around 750,000, according to his label, with last year’s debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The short sets allow him to cut lightweight, fun-loving songs with no goal other than to accompany you during your time on the sand. The EPs help keep him connected to a younger demographic —increasingly important in country music — and provide fans with fresh material between full studio albums.
Today, Bryan issues “Spring Break 6… Like We Ain’t Never,” and he may outdo the funny Ryan Gosling meme on the number of times he drops the word “Girl.” Almost every song is about being with your girl, wishing you were with someone else’s girl, keeping your girl or looking for a girl. Which, come to think of it, is really what Spring Break is all about. Plus beer.
While it’s easy to reject the mindlessness of the tunes, all of which were co-written by Bryan, to his credit, as much as the songs are about lusting after girls and are cliche-filled, in most cases the women have the upper hand and they are the ones that determine the outcome of the evening. No girls gone wild or “Spring Breakers” here; This is strictly Girls —and boys —Gone Mild, in a good way.
Below is a track-by-track description. I didn’t give each of the songs an individual grade because, quite frankly, there’s not enough difference in them to do so. The EP would have been better served by a few uptempo tunes thrown in between the mid-tempo tracks. If you’re hanging with Bryan at Spring Break or just are longing for some easy-going beach days, “Spring Break 6” will fill the bill until you can stick your toes in the sand.
And, by the way if you're in the area, as he has for the past five years, Bryan will play Spinnaker’s Beach Club in Panama City, Florida on March 11 and 12. The shows are free.
“She Get Me High”: Swaying tune about a woman that does it for Bryan, no matter where they are (despite the lack of subject verb agreement), at the beach, on the river, in his truck, whether she’s in bare feet or high heels. Only time the song (and EP) gets creepy is when he’s watching her on the beach and invites others to enjoy her as well: “Don’t nobody block my view/Hell, you can find a spot and watch too/watch how she makes this beach light up like the sky light up on New Year’s Eve.” She’s a woman who knows what she wants, and she wants Bryan.
“Like We Ain’t Ever”: A sweetly rocking song with Bryan totally as himself addressing the crowd about being up on stage and playing for them year after year and how each year he wants it to feel like the first time. It’s a fun look into how he feels about celebrating Spring Break with his college fans each year and how he’s brought some new songs with him this year. The best song on the EP.
“Night One”: Awww, it happens every year, doesn’t it? It’s your last night of vacation and you find the girl you wish you’d gotten to spend the whole week with “being drunk, tangled up, getting up… every night another party, making out in a crowd.. “
“Are You Leaving With Him”: A chugging mid-tempo track that sounds the most like it would be right at home on one of Bryan’s full-length albums. Bryan’s spotted a girl across the bar whose man isn’t paying nearly enough attention to her and he’s trying to find a way to be the one she leaves with. Clunkily written—“ I ain’t gotta tell you what you wanna do ‘cos you’re gonna do what you wanna do” is a sample lyric —but still gets the point across.
“Good Lookin’ Girl”: A mid-tempo ode to a girl that he can’t resist and his appreciation for her. She doesn’t even have to do anything other than let him gaze upon her. Nice work if you can get it.
“The Sand I Brought To the Beach”: Bryan’s lady isn’t up for his good-timing antics and she leaves him in Panama City to fend for himself. We have a feeling he’ll be just fine.