After making fans wait for over two months, Luke Combs finally dropped his deluxe album, What You See Ain’t Always What You Get, at midnight. It includes five news songs: “Cold As You”, “The Other Guy”, “My Kinda Folk”, “Without You”, and last but certainly not least, “Forever After All”. You can find them anywhere you normally get your music. It was a long, painful wait, but boy was it worth it. Here’s my review of each of the five new songs.
Cold As You
The first new song on the deluxe album is “Cold As You”. This is one that fans had previously heard, as he posted an acoustic version of it to his IGTV and YouTube back on June 23rd. He had also posted another acoustic version to YouTube a little over two weeks ago. Those versions were great, but, in my opinion, the studio version is much better. It’s a phenomenal country rocker just like “Beer Never Broke My Heart”, which is it’s closest comparable. However, lyrically and sonically it is very different, keeping Combs’ streak of not duplicating songs alive and well. “Cold As You” deals with a guy drinking at a bar angry over the way his now-ex treated him. Debuting at number four on the iTunes charts, it’s sure to be another fan favorite, especially at concerts.
The Other Guy
Next up we have “The Other Guy”, which is a stark contrast to “Cold As You”. A slow breakup ballad, “The Other Guy” is a straight gut-punch. It’s one of three songs that no one had heard before except for the brief 40-second acoustic clip he posted to his Instagram (which he did for all of them). In my opinion, its closest comparable is “Must’ve Never Met You” given they both tell stories of a guy struggling to move on after a breakup. However, they come at it from different approaches, and sonically they sound very different, so it’s not that close. “The Other Guy” deals with a guy who unexpectedly runs into an ex at a bar. By all outward appearances, he’s ok, but when he goes home at night he is anything but. Debuting at number three on the iTunes charts, it’s an example of classic Combs storytelling that’s sure to have fans in tears for years to come.
My Kinda Folk
Flipping the switch to another upbeat song, “My Kinda Folk” is the kind of funky, fun song that’s helped gain him a legion of fans who are looking for something other than cookie-cutter country music. It’s another one of the new songs that fans had only previously heard a brief clip posted to his Instagram. With its closest comparable being “Blue Collar Boys”, “My Kinda Folk” is another example of Combs staying humble and true to where he came from. Telling the story of him and his group of friends, it’s another extremely relatable song that’s sure to resonate with fans everywhere. Sonically, it’s probably the most unique of the bunch and is so in a great way. Debuting at number five on the iTunes chart, fans are sure to relate hard to it, and it’ll be a really fun one to hear at concerts for a long time.
Changing tune for the last time on this album, “Without You” is a beautiful, sentimental ballad. An ode to everyone who’s helped him get this far, “Without You” is a collaboration with Amanda Shires of The Highwomen and is best compared to “This Ones For You.” It’s the only song of the bunch that was released ahead of time, dropping on September 18th of this year. He also played it a lot at concerts as a treat to those who were there, and he posted a live recording of it to his IGTV and YouTube back on May 19th.
“Without You” is yet another representation of how humble Combs has stayed despite his incredible success. Not many artists would write multiple songs just to thank everyone who’s helped him get this far, from his family to his friends to his fans. Currently sitting at number six on the iTunes charts, this looks to be his next single to country radio given it was the only one released prior to the album dropping. I don’t think you’ll see too many people complaining about it, as it’s another outstanding song by him.
Forever After All
Finally, we have my personal favorite and the most anticipated of the bunch: “Forever After All.” It’s a continuation of the love story we heard in “Beautiful Crazy” and “Better Together” (its closest comparable). Having been teased since shortly after the announcement the album was coming, the song was never fully released until now. Instead, I (and I’m sure many others) just got to have the chorus stuck in my head for a solid two months. But, it was well worth it. Written about his new wife, Nicole Hocking (now Combs), “Forever After All” finds Combs reflecting on everything that’s fleeting, but coming to the realization that the love he and Nicole share will live on even after one of them is gone. Beautifully written and produced, it’s sure to be a popular wedding song for a long time.
The fans’ love for it is already clear. It debuted at number one on the iTunes charts by a considerable margin, which is quite the feat given Ariana Grande dropped a new single today as well. It’s also expected to debut at number one or two on the Billboard Hot 100. This just goes to show the kind of power Combs has, as it is rare for a country song to perform that well on that chart.
Overall, Another Incredible Effort From Luke Combs
All in all, this is another flawless effort from Luke Combs. It only further reinforces what many fans, including myself, keep saying, which is that he is completely incapable of writing a bad song. Usually, artists have some stinkers in their catalog. At the very least, they normally have some that are meh. He has none of those, and it’s truly remarkable. He also has no duplicate songs, which is very impressive. Each of his songs sounds different from the rest and from all other artists, which is extremely refreshing. These five songs only further strengthen his already outstanding discography. I highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t already. I’ve already lost count of how many times I’ve listened to each song.
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12).
Featured image courtesy of lukecombs.com
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