Luke Bryan – “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”

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Along with fellow twangy upstarts Chris Young and Easton Corbin, Luke Bryan has defied recent country trends toward pop slickness with his decidedly neo-traditional songs. His Georgia drawl leaves him little choice in that regard, but Bryan seems to revel in genuine backwoods simplicity and his unique voice and swagger lend him an authenticity that a dozen “I’m so country” listing songs could never equal. Even his “bad” songs glow with a certain charm. Luke’s also been on quite a tear lately with hits and awards rolling in seemingly monthly. Hell, I even kinda like him.

With all this momentum built up, it’d take quite a misstep for Bryan not to move from opener to headliner in 2011.

Uh oh.

How can I put this professionally?

“Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” is a big, steaming, rotting, worm and fly-infested pile of cow crap. There, that was pretty journalistic.

The calendar says Spring is here, and it takes a couple of months for established artists to get a song up the charts, so right about this time every year they put out the “summer fun” songs. This one shoots for that, but it’s not fun… it’s barely functional. The most apt adjective to describe this song is “cringeworthy.”

You already know what it’s about without hearing it or me telling you, but here goes, anyway. He wants his girlfriend to shake her thang. He delivers this message in a way that he’s obviously talking to all country girls – that they should also shake their thangs for the “young bucks, rednecks, DJ’s, birds and bees.” I’m serious. It goes no deeper than that.

While not quite as lecherous as Trace Adkins’ recent misfire “Brown Chicken Brown Cow,” the intent is pretty much the same. Bryan’s charm only serves to make this song more palatable to radio programmers, who will undoubtably add, add, add—leading me to puke, puke, puke.

The chorus is insipid, merely repeating the title over and over with awkward female backing vocals. I felt my face turning three shades of red while this played aloud, worried someone might think I actually listened to this for enjoyment.

Interestingly (?) enough, “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” also reintroduces something that has—for better or worse—been missing in country music for a while: the dance song. This one’s ready-made for the hardwood floor, and I bet they’ve already got an even cheesier dance remix in the can.

I fall a little beyond this song’s intended audience, age-wise, but I still enjoy fun songs. I just don’t like to be beaten over the head with fun, because then it just feels like work. Simplicity is fine too, but this is only a step or two above singing “dance then have intercourse” over a country dance beat.

I just don’t get it. Luke could have put out a seasonally appropriate good-times tune without pandering to the lowest common denominator. You’re better than this LB.

When it was time for Luke Bryan to shoot for the stars, he instead dropped a load in his pants.

This is wretched.

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