Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Luke Bryan – Waves

With that score, more like “Ripples.”


Katie Gill: I can see why Luke Bryan would want to distance himself from the typical summertime song cliches of getting drunk, partying on the beach, looking at girls in bikinis, etc. considering his last “get drunk, go party” single was released at possibly the worst time ever (rip for Luke Bryan’s big summer party tour that this song was inevitably supposed to headline). So instead, he decides to pair the inevitable country music summertime song with a love ballad. It’s a good idea in theory. But in practice, it’s remarkably inoffensive and remarkably middle of the road. Ballads have never been Luke Bryan’s strong suit and this is just further proof of that.

Iain Mew: The title made my mind turn to the floating EDM-pop of “Waves”-wave, and its own country moment. The weird thing about this new “Waves” is that it has much the same gentle wash of vibes right until it comes to the chorus and direct wave imagery, at which point the vibes crash against a combination of horniness and trying to cover the sea and the summer in one go besides. None of the competing moods fail, but he can’t carry off the smoothness to join them.

Alfred Soto: After 2020 I’m ready to go easy on ham hocks like Luke Bryan and their fairy tales about suntan oil and flip-flops made for losin’. But like a professor reading a student essay the first week back from hiatus and realizing it’s a C-, “Waves” is more mush. It doesn’t sound like waves: it’s not buoyant, wet, and it doesn’t crash. 

Mark Sinker: See I get how the keep-on-coming-in-waves line works obviously, an openly sexy-happy metaphor that plays at being disavowable — we’re on the beach 🌊 ☀️ 🌊 🏖 🌊 and the waves keep coming in — because that’s part of the easy cheesy fun. And the beach-country beat and sound flow like machine-dispensed lotion in the honeyed sun, because that’s the former Mr Spring Break’s job and he can do it napping under a hankie on the dunes. But why are they tied up?

Edward Okulicz: “Waves” has a strong chorus that is catchy and mixes salty and a slight touch of bittersweet. It rings with a sense of loss and ruefulness that the lyrics don’t touch, which is a shame, because what they do touch is summer madlib nonsense. Luke Bryan is trying to draw a summer scene with one pencil, and it’s the wrong colour for the job. There’s a really delicate song in here struggling to get out of the tan-line and margarita word salad, and the hammy guitars that crash in. 

Nortey Dowuona: The thundering drums and spurring guitars are so fast they obscure the humming bass, as Luke’s voice crashes against the heavy water and struggles to surface, taking hold of his lady love’s hand, as she pulls him to the surface.

Juana Giaimo: Too many summer metaphors for a song that leaves me cold.

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