Songwriters: Rodney Clawson, Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins
The story of Luke Bryan’s career has often been a case of genuine talent bogged down by inconsistent taste in song material, not to mention an occasional inclination toward radio butt-kissing. But one thing that can’t be denied is that no matter what style Bryan chooses to tackle – be it an earnest ballad like “Do I,” a redneck hay-rolling ditty like “Rain Is a Good Thing,” or a goofy booty-shaking country dance number a la “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” – he always throws himself fully into it with spunky enthusiasm and aw-shucks country boy charm. Granted, that doesn’t necessarily salvage a song if the lyrics themselves are irredeemable, but it can serve to elevate a standard lyric to something more than the sum of its parts.
Once you get past the fact that “Drunk On You” is Bryan’s third consecutive single to place a girl dancing in a pickup truck, you find that this is one of his most enjoyable efforts yet in the backwoods romance vein. Though the production would have done well to strip away a layer of the obligatory radio polish, “Drunk On You” coasts along with effortless breeziness, anchored by a warm inviting melody and a charming banjo line. The heart of the song, however, is Bryan himself. His earnest vocal delivery gets past the requisite blue jean references, and even borderline-hokey likes like “Girl you make my speakers go boom-boom,” without coming across as awkward or forced. When he sings “That kind of thing makes a man go mmm-hmm,” you can practically see him closing his eyes and savoring every moment.
Radio bait it may be, but “Drunk On You” gives Bryan just enough leeway to show what it is that makes him an interesting singer. Though his previous chart-topper “I Don’t Want This Night to End” interrupted the vibe with ill-advised rock histrionics, “Drunk On You” hits its mark by allowing Bryan to pull his own weight with his thoughtful vocal interpretation. If Luke Bryan was just starting to lose you with his somewhat stagnant song choices, “Drunk On You” might be just the thing to restore your faith in the contemporary backwoods country love song.