Single Review: Luke Bryan, “Someone Else Calling You Baby”

I so wish the web had video of the acoustic performance of this song from GAC’s Origins: Luke Bryan. I caught it on TV a few weeks ago and thought, “this guy actually has something.” If I could embed that performance here, I think you’d probably agree.

TheĀ  song is basically a demand for a clean break-up, so you canĀ  guess the scenario. She asked for time apart, he granted it, now hints are floating around that she’s found someone else. Very well-trod ground, and this song doesn’t provide a twist in the trail. But it does draw an emotive performance from Bryan and boast a cool central guitar lick, and in the Origins setting, those elements were enough to drive it home.

But alas: studio-Bryan is a prime victim of mainstream country’s current production trends. The charmingly dopey “Rain Is a Good Thing” begged to strip off a coat of its polish (hello, drunken hootenannies and rain-soaked barn sex don’t sound like Disney jingles), and “Someone Else Calling You Baby” begs to shake off its tacked-on “rawk.” This is pop-country, not melancholy 90’s alt-something, and this guy can actually sing. I’m no purist, but overwhelming guitars and drums like this do nothing but deafen us to the power of the song and performance.

In the end, I like those latter two enough to give this release a pass. But please, please, please, someone set this promising artist’s material free.

Written by Luke Bryan and Jeff Stevens

Grade: B

Listen: Someone Else Calling You Baby

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20 Comments

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20 Responses to Single Review: Luke Bryan, “Someone Else Calling You Baby”

  1. “Rain is a Good Thing” turned me off a bit, but I like this one. I agree that he would sound much better if someone would give him a more stripped-down production.

  2. This song is just… okay. The lyrics have a somewhat boring way of telling a story, and the studio recording doesn’t really add anything to it. But it’s not bad enough to make me change the station when it comes on.

    Not gonna lie here – I loved “Rain Is a Good Thing”!

  3. EvanNo Gravatar

    “Rain Is a Good Thing” is harmless pleasure. I give it props over “Someone Else Calling You Baby” for having more creativity.

  4. I enjoy “Rain is a Good Thing” too. Bryan is one of those artists that I don’t actively dislike, but I couldn’t exactly call myself a fan either. He’s got potential and reaches it once in awhile.

  5. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I pretty much agree with you, Dan. I like the bones of this song – kind of reminds me of Clay Walker’s brand of 90s country music. The weird thing is, even though I recognize Bryan’s raw vocal talent and its rarity these days, his voice really turns me off. I feel the same way about Tracy Lawrence, who has a similar voice.

  6. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    He actually doesn’t have my favorite voice, either, in all honesty. I think it sounds really…”dumb”(?) sometimes, like on “Do I”. Like, just a weird tone. But like you said, he does technically have talent, and I really appreciate that it’s held up live when I’ve seen him in person or on TV.

    Clay Walker is exactly the comparison I felt but couldn’t put my finger on; nice call.

    I think “Rain Is A Good Thing” is the stronger single, too, for those who have expressed thus. I just think it could have been even better without so much Nashville sheen.

  7. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    That’s pretty funny, because I think “lame” sometimes when I hear his voice, even though that’s disrespectful and doesn’t even make sense.

  8. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    I too really liked “Rain is a Good Thing.” It felt natural and believable, without being lyrically hackneyed, and Bryan gave a down-to-earth performance that had a great deal of charm.

    This doesn’t do it for me quite as much. It gravitates a bit too closely to the syrupy to me. But I agree with Ben, it isn’t bad enough to where I’ll change the station in protest.

  9. I actually like his voice, but I agree that it’s not particularly strong. It’s got a different kind of nasal that I can’t put my finger on. His voice reminds me of Daron Norwood’s; it has the same kind of quality/texture to it.

    I also think that Bryan’s productions almost make it at times, but that they lean toward the dramatic, especially on slower songs.

    I don’t really hear the Clay Walker connection (in voice or song selection), but then, I love Tracy Lawrence’s voice too, along with much of his early to mid-nineties output.\

  10. Molly PNo Gravatar

    I will say that I think this song fits Bryan a bit more than some of his earlier singles – it feels more natural to me. But I agree with the over produced critique. I wish they would’ve gotten rid of some of the electric guitars and focused more on steel and fiddle. This song could have easily fit in a honky tonk or dance hall in the 90’s and I wish they would have played that up.

  11. TomNo Gravatar

    …perhaps a tick too electric but quite pleasant standard radio-fare by luke bryan. i was already somewhat afraid that he wanted to tell us also how great a thing the sun is and how thirsty it makes his little girl for a glass of whiskey…

  12. plain_joNo Gravatar

    I really like Luke as an entertainer, Loved “Rain Is A Good Thing.” I think he is the writer or co-writer of “My Ol’ Man” on the new Joey+Rory album.

  13. Noah EatonNo Gravatar

    Let’s just hope his recent partnership with Deltapine, a subsidiary of Monsanto, isn’t a premonition of sorts to more genetically-modified music from here on out on Bryan’s part! :P

  14. KNo Gravatar

    I liked this song the first few times I heard it, but it’s gotten old quickly.

    I think Luke has a lot of potential; he’s an energetic performer with a great voice, and he sells the charm and conviction of his material better than most artists on the radio.

    But this song-though charming- has nothing to offer. The melody is enjoyable, but not strong enough to carry the song, and once the repetative, empty lyrics are gone, there’s nothing to hold it up.

  15. I like Luke’s voice singing voice fairly well, but mostly because he puts some character into his singing. For example, I don’t like Luke Bryan’s voice for the same reasons that I like Trisha Yearwood’s voice, but I do like it.

  16. that was a very good song that he played

  17. I agree with K, I liked this song at first but it did get old after listening to it a few times!

  18. Tom UKNo Gravatar

    I like this. It has a distinctive riff, a good solid melody, strong singalong chorus and it is sung very well. Some of the lyrics are somewhat derivative, but it’s a catchy pop/country song, which is exactly what it sets out to be.

  19. KimberlyNo Gravatar

    I really like this song, for some reason I find myself singing it…

  20. DaveNo Gravatar

    Luke Bryan’s voice reminds me of Gomer Pile’s, kinda weird.