At 17 tracks, Luke Combs’ What You See Is What You Get isn’t a routine album as much as a miniature box set of recent tracks, pairing 12 unreleased songs with the entirety of this summer’s EP The Prequel. The result is an hour-plus collection of music, stacked to the brim with working-class anthems, high-powered guest spots, and more beer mentions than a Super Bowl commercial break.
When it rains, it pours — and for Combs, the last three years have been raining hits. We break down his newest smashes-to-be below, one day before What You See Is What You Get officially arrives.
1. Beer Never Broke My Heart (Luke Combs/Randy Montana/Jonathan Singleton)
Rooted to the barroom floor by a guitar riff that owes as much to hard rock as country, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” racked up three million streams during its first five days of release, eventually becoming the singer’s sixth chart-topper in a row. The song is classic Combs: a country hit for the digital streaming generation, with just enough genre-crossing charm to rope in the city slickers and a clever-enough conceit that’s still easy to understand — maybe even easier to understand — after a half-dozen rounds.
2. Refrigerator Door (Luke Combs/Jordan Brooker)
Combs has been tossing this deep cut into his solo sets since as early as 2016, mixing a simple four-chord pattern — perhaps the most commonly used progression in all of country music — with lyrics about the photographs, recipes, and family ephemera that cover his parents’ ice box. It’s familiar-sounding stuff, but Combs works well in oft-trodden territory, remaking the go-to tropes of his genre to fit his own approach.
3. Even Though I’m Leaving (Luke Combs/Wyatt Durrette/Ray Fulcher)
With help from co-writers Wyatt Durrette and Ray Fulcher, Combs traces the arc of a father-and-son relationship’s over multiple decades, from the nightmare-filled nights of the son’s youth to the final moments of his father’s later years. A tearjerker that’s bound for years of wedding-reception playback.
4. Lovin’ on You (Luke Combs/Thomas Archer/Ray Fulcher/James McNair)
Ah, the country-pop listicle. Combs rattles off a string of redneck requisites — Miller Light, Marlboro, Brooks & Dunn, et al. — while his band bangs and twangs in the background, turning “Lovin’ on You” into a Southern stomper that hits all the expected marks.
5. Moon Over Mexico (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Dan Isbell/Jonathan Singleton)
“Taste the salt on the rim, feel the sand on your skin and the wild in the wind, like I’m right there again,” Combs sings, remembering a fleeting romance that occurred somewhere south of the border. A countrified power ballad, “Moon Over Mexico” makes room for Pacifico shout-outs and a harmonized guitar solo.
6. 1, 2 Many (feat. Brooks & Dunn) (Luke Combs/Dan Isbell/Tyler King/Drew Parker)
Combs teams up with Brooks & Dunn for the second time this year, having already appeared on the remake of the duo’s career-kickstarting hit “Brand New Man.” A fast, fraternal tribute to getting tanked, “1, 2, Many” revolves around a crunk countdown — “Five, four, three, two, one, two many” — that feels like the ultimate dad joke.
7. Blue Collar Boys (Luke Combs/Erik Dylan/Ray Fulcher/Derrick Moody)
While the back-porch twang of a banjo gives way to crashing power chords, Combs stands in solidarity with his blue-collar brethren. “Carolina to California up to Illinois, there’s guys like us: blue collar boys,” he sings during the chorus, raising a beer — an essential part of any Luke Combs song — to the Average Joes among us.
8. New Every Day (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Josh Thompson)
“I never knew a king size bed was just another place to drown, or how lonely ‘lonely’ sounds,” Combs laments during this amped-up power ballad, whose intro — a mixture of isolated piano and groundless, dissipating clouds of electric guitar — highlights the lonesome feeling of walking through life without your partner.
9. Reasons (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/James McNair)
Written with help from omnipresent collaborator Ray Fulcher, whose byline graces more than half of Combs’ released material, “Reasons” is a feel-good, Nineties-influenced country song that turns its source material — a breakup that’s left Combs “drowning in some barroom off the deep end” — into a reason to celebrate.
10. Every Little Bit Helps (Luke Combs/Chase McGill/James McNair)
A close cousin to “Reasons,” “Every Little Bit Helps” finds a heartbroken Combs washing away the memory of an ex with a trip to the dive bar. Like the previous song, it’s bright and buoyant, contrasting the songwriter’s downcast lyrics with syncopated stabs of percussion and electric guitar — just listen to the “Step! By! Step!” moment in the chorus — and a tangle of shred-worthy solos during the song’s final stretch.
11. Dear Today (Luke Combs/Erik Dylan/Rob Snyder)
Combs straps on an acoustic guitar and sings a song to his past self. The first verse and chorus of “Dear Today” are the actual work tape, cut in a California hotel room. The homemade feeling persists throughout the song, even after the band makes an understated entrance. On an album full of arrangements that nod to Combs’ newfound status as an arena act, “Dear Today” is a welcome outlier — a song better suited to the front porch than the sports center.
12. What You See Is What You Get (Luke Combs/Barry Dean/Jonathan Singleton)
The album’s title track is a take-me-or-leave-me missive that makes no apologies for Combs’ snuff habit or beer consumption, soundtracked by a combo of deep, Telecastered twang and singalong choruses.
13. Does to Me (feat. Eric Church) (Luke Combs/Ray Fulcher/Tyler Reeve)
Eric Church and Combs join forces for this tribute to dependable good ol’ boys. Church doesn’t have a byline on the track, but he does have half a verse all to himself, working some fishing lingo and a Don Williams shout-out into his 20-second spotlight. The two vocalists share the final chorus, and the result isn’t a passing of the country torch as much as an agreement to hold it aloft together.
14. Angels Workin’ Overtime (Luke Combs/Josh Phillips/Josh Thompson)
A Southern rocker whose boogie-woogie bluster nods to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Foghat, and other staples of old-school FM radio, “Angels Workin’ Overtime” is the soundtrack to another overworked day, punctuated by enough snappy snare hits and saloon-style piano runs to cool the burn of a 12-hour shift.
15. All Over Again (Luke Combs/Corey Crowder/Ray Fulcher)
The digitally-enhanced drumbeat that kicks off “All Over Again” is one of Luke Combs’ only concessions to the steady encroachment of polished pop music upon what used to be raw, roosty terrain. Otherwise, this mid-tempo track pitches its tent on the country side of the country-pop border, delivering a familiar tale of a failed romance that’s devolved into a series of late-night one-offs and short-lived resurrections.
16. Nothing Like You (Luke Combs/Drew Parker/Robert Williford)
Led by understated drums, mandolin, and Combs’ acoustic guitar, “Nothing Like You” is a road warrior’s love letter to someone waiting back home. “I’ve spent every mile missing you, baby,” he sings over a stripped-back arrangement, emphasizing the content of his words rather than the crunch of his band.
17. Better Together (Luke Combs/Dan Isbell/Randy Montana)
What You See Is What You Get ends on a poignant note, as piano chords undescore Combs’ gruffly soulful vocal. “If I’m being honest, your first and my last name would just sound better together,” he sings, choosing to conclude the album not with an amplified anthem, but with a simple message of love and thanks for the woman who’s supported his run up the country ladder.
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