Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Luke Combs – Even Though I’m Leaving

stop, don’t, come back…

Thomas Inskeep: Things I like about Luke Combs: His deep, drawling voice. The fact that his songs sound so trad country — not quite Jon Pardi, but certainly better than a Dan + Shay (in fact, in terms of import he might well be his generation’s Randy Travis). Things I don’t like about Luke Combs: He only seems to really pull off songs about relationships between men; women are a blind spot for him. Fortunately for these purposes, “Even Though I’m Leaving” is about the relationship between fathers and sons, and he sings this strong song well.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Initially thought this was gonna be a melancholy song about a dying father, but it turns out to be considerably less moving. It traces the fear a child has when a parent isn’t around them, and links this to the fear that same child has when he grows up and goes to war? Give me a break.

Oliver Maier: Trots along pleasantly, uninterestingly. Ostensibly a tender ode to the bond between a father and his son but still as arena-ready as anything else in Combs’ arsenal. +1 for the mandolin, more vivid than any of his vocal delivery or storytelling.

Alfred Soto: Ken Burns’ documentary served as reminder that audiences have patience for mild-voiced crooners whose nods toward their rural roots extend no further than mandolin solos. As warm as a roaring fire in December, as comfortable as a boring neighbor, Luke Combs would like you to know that he can do this as long as he’s alive.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Luke Combs keeps making the least bad versions of bad concepts. He manages to make the conceit here — the lingering feelings and memories of those who have left that we can’t detach from our experiences — as un-creepy as possible (except for the sleep line), and even throws in a nifty little acoustic solo. Yet it still doesn’t move the needle, and the move to daddy issues schlock on the last verse is thoroughly unconvincing.

Hazel Southwell: Bold of some country fella to do a daddy culture anthem. Unfortunately, it does not slap.

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