With Crash My Party Luke Bryan finds himself in a position he's never been before. Crash My Party is his first album since ascending to superstar status with the string of Platinum-plus hits from 2011's Double Platinum-selling tailgates & tanlines. Now the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan has achieved Superstar status and as such the 'pressure' to deliver is perhaps higher for the star than it was on even his sophomore album Doin' My Thing.
Crash My Party is named after the Platinum-selling multi-week #1 hit of the same name and it was a smart lead single as the song felt like the perfect bridge from tailgates to the new stuff. The album's lead-off track "That's My Kind Of Night" -- the second single as of the album's release -- features a strong groove-filled bass line and while some my dislike the lyrics which reference T-Pain, it is a song that does exactly what it's supposed to do, get the fun going. There is a strong bass line a-la "Another One Bites The Dust" which gives Luke Bryan all he needs to have a song to get people dancing and grooving to the music, either at a party or at a concert.
Melodies are what drives most of what you hear on Crash My Party but if fans were expecting Luke Bryan's albums to completely abandon steel guitars and fiddles, he hasn't yet done so with songs like "We Run This Town" - a mid tempo where steel guitar serves as the lead instrument in the chorus - while "Drink A Beer" is both country in sound and lyrics, lyrics that aren't party-hearty but rather strong, story song style of telling about a guy who lost a best friend and drinks a beer while he sits and thinks about and toasts to his old friend (The song features co-writer Chris Stapleton on harmony vocals as well). "Goodbye Girl" has a timeless country melody with one of Luke's best vocals on the album.
Virtually any song on Crash My Party -- from "I See You" to "Beer In The Headlights" to "Blood Brothers" to "Shut It down" to "Roller Coaster" -- have the potential of being hits and even when these songs get melodies that recall other eras of the music landscape, they still feel fresh and of the moment, which perhaps what critics of the batch of current stars dislike more than anything. But to me, it means the artists are bringing in their more wide-ranging influences and while Crash My Party clearly features melodies and ideas that come from outside of Country's traditions, nobody would mistake the album for anything but a Country Music album, a strong, well-made modern one which makes times to nod to tradition while still looking forward.
Note: There is also a Target exclusive Deluxe Edition of Crash My Party which lncludes four bonus tracks.