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Track Review

In these days of overnight Internet sensations and a longer list of reality singing competitions every season, it's less common than it once was to hear the story of someone who packed up his guitar, moved to Nashville, paid his dues and made it big. And that's exactly the trajectory Luke Bryan took—eventually.

Bryan's parents bought him a guitar at the age of 14. Soon he was playing in public and writing his own songs, with the dream of camping out within country music's hallowed halls as soon as he graduated high school.

The dream was nearly derailed, however, when his older brother, Chris, was tragically killed the day Bryan planned to leave. A detour worthy of a country music song itself ensued, as the young singer went to college, then returned home to work for his father, despite the encouragement from everyone that he needed to make good on his original plan.

When Dad finally talked his son into taking a shot at the big time, it didn't take long for Bryan to sign a record contract, write hit songs for Travis Tritt and Billy Currington, then launch a solo career of his own that's propelled his star steadily higher since his debut album I'll Stay Me landed in 2007.

Bryan's latest hit, "Drunk on You," is his fourth country chart-topper but his first to climb into the Top 20 on Billboard's mainstream Hot 100 chart. It mingles good-ol'-boy musings about backwoods parties, tailgates, tight jeans and raised glasses as it compares the effects of a woman's glance to the effects of a Dixie cup topped off with Crown Royal whiskey.

First-verse festivities get underway at a makeshift country party: "Cottonwood fallin' like snow in July/Sunset, riverside, four-wheel drives/In a taillight circle," Bryan sings, setting the scene. "Roll down the windows, turn it on up/Pour a little Crown in a Dixie cup/Get the party started."

Once the party does get rollin', the only person Bryan's got eyes for is a pretty woman dancing in the back of his pickup truck: "Girl, you make my speakers go 'boom boom'/Dancin' on the tailgate in a full moon/The kind of thing that makes a man go 'Mmm hmmm/You're lookin' so good in what's left of those blue jeans." Then comes the that comparison of how she makes him feel to how his favorite beverages/drugs make him feel: "Gotta be/The best buzz I'm ever gonna find/Hey, I'm drunk on you/And high on summertime."

As the song progresses, Bryan moves from admiring (and leering at) her ("Tippin' 'n' spillin' that homemade wine/On your tied-up T-shirt") to making out ("Every little kiss is drivin' me wild/Throwin' little cherry bombs into my fire/Good god almighty!") to suggesting they go for a skinny-dip as the sun sets ("Let's slip on out where it's a little bit darker/And when it gets a little bit hotter/We'll take it off out in the water").

The video, it turns out, only loosely parallels the song's themes. It intercuts shots of Bryan performing live in concert (including suggestive hip thrusts when he sings the lines "Girl, you make my speakers go 'boom boom'") with his memories of the night he met a special woman at a backwoods party.

Those flashback scenes, first featured in the video for the singer's 2011 hit, "I Don't Want This Night to End," include images of the couple's beer-drinking giving way to cuddling in a barn. When he awakes, alone, Bryan finds his mystery woman has left him. All he has is the hope that she'll take him up on his standing offer to come out to one of his shows, and he tells his manager to leave a ticket for her at each one.

The video concludes with a classic and cuddly country ending as Bryan is reunited with his lost love, and the couple walks off hand in hand. Whether or not listeners will want to cuddle up so close to this steamy country hit, on the other hand, isn't so certain.

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Topped the country chart and reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Record Label

Capitol Records Nashville




February 13, 2012

On Video

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Adam R. Holz

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