Luke Bryan ‘Play It Again’ – Single Review


‘Play It Again’, the fourth single from Luke Bryan’s fourth studio album ‘Crash My Party’, is sadly not as good as his previous single ‘Drink A Beer’. After becoming known as one of the key perpetrators of the ugly phenomenon known as “bro-country”, songs ‘Crash My Party’ and ‘That’s My Kind of Night’ set the precedent for the album, which is chock full of clichéd laundry-list truck tracks that have no differentiation between each other and redeeming musical qualities either. ‘Drink A Beer’ was different in that it was actually heartfelt and had some substance (it was a gentle ballad about the coping mechanisms following the discovery of a loved one’s passing), but ‘Play It Again’ returns to the age-old narrative of getting drunk with a hot girl. ‘Cause obviously that’s all working people do these days.

Peppered with electronic devices such as synths and a drum machine, it has a decidedly pop/R&B feel (though remembers to include some electric guitars just to “assure you” of its countryness) and lives in the generic, complete with repetitive cyclical melody, major key (plus minor chords for “suspense”) and a compressed banjo very low in the mix. The choruses, full production guitars/drums and belted vocals, do nothing to make ‘Play It Again’ sound any different from any other songs on the album, or any other songs on the radio, for that matter. It’s not distinctive, it’s just boring.

Lyrically it tries to move away from the exact same storyline, but still retains the same setting; in fact “pour a little sugar in her Dixie cup” is a line repeated oft throughout Luke’s music and it again appears here. Upon actually Googling the proper definition for such a phrase Urban Dictionary gave me the rather disturbing result that it involves a man “expelling” into a woman’s hand, for her to drink. Yeah. All the more sinister now, isn’t it? Excuse me while I got vomit.

Right, I’m back. Aside from that mentally scarring picture (I’ll never forget this, ever), the lyrics are mundane but startlingly poorly written. Of course, those who criticize bro-country would not be so surprised, but actually they shirk the typical lines for a simplistic narrative that a 5-year-old could have written. “And she was like oh my God, this is my song, I’ve been listening to the radio all day long, sitting round waiting for it to come on, and here it is”. Well stop everything everyone, no-one needs to write anything more ever. We have the winner of music. And culture too (that’s the lyrics to the chorus by the way – yeah really). Honestly, I wrote better stuff when I was a kid, and true, writing has always been my strength and something I’ve studied, but you’d kind of expect that of people who are professional songwriters. You’d think.

I have nothing more to say about such atrocities that Luke Bryan seems to have no problem inflicting on his poor fans (who are desperate to love it because they want to f*ck him), so I’ll just sit here and put up with it while it soars to #1 and then we can stop going on about it please.

About Vickye

I run this joint. Country music blogger extraordinaire, fangirl, coffee drinker, Twitterer, bunny lover and rather too opinionated for her own good. Feminist and equal rights advocate. Has a laugh that you can hear for miles.
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17 Responses to Luke Bryan ‘Play It Again’ – Single Review

  1. Synthetic Paper says:

    You know, as awful as this song is … if you imagine that the song “she” has been waiting for is actually a song by Munly or Those Poor Bastards or something … that makes the whole thing kind of absurdly hilarious in a way.

  2. Livewire says:

    Do you think Bryan is aware of the Urban Dic’s take on “Tryin’ to pour a little sugar in her Dixie cup” or is it just another innocent from one of the Chicken Pickers writers. Yes the “Crash My Party” boys are back with Dallas Davidson / Ashley Gorley. UKCountryRadio.com are still all over Luke’s “Party” I’m sure they will play this like crazy too. When you stick it to to them or give critique of the station “Playing the Hottest Country Music for the UK” you just end up with a Facebook ban. Yes lyrically it’s weak but feeds the “bungalow crowd” (think about it). When you go a Nash will you be wearing one of these Vickye – http://skreened.com/render-product/i/q/w/iqwlkssgkrimxeaaqonq/sugar-in-my-dixie-cup.american-apparel-unisex-tank.black.w760h760.jpg

    • Vickye says:

      Ha!! I will never wear one of those t-shirts lol!
      I’m not sure if they know what they’re saying but what else can that phrase honestly mean? Otherwise it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when put in all the contexts it has been. That’s why I Googled it in the first place.
      I’m likely to wear a few Eric Church or Miranda Lambert t-shirts! Real sass and no faux-feminism! 🙂

  3. Noah Eaton says:

    Honestly, I consider this superior to “Drink A Beer” (that’s not saying much, as I’ll explain momentarily) and here’s why.

    Luke Bryan has proven with his debut full-length release “I’ll Stay Me” (Ha! That ship sure sailed! 😉 ) that he is fully capable of not only interpreting, but writing, compellingly heartfelt and reflective material. “Tackle Box” was an exquisite illustration of Bryan’s grandfather in which he wrings every fluid ounce of emotion articulating. “The Car in Front of Me” was another great example. Even the single “We Rode In Trucks”, despite the yellow flag-waiving title, sounded natural and believable and was well-delivered.

    Since then, Bryan hasn’t released a single song to radio I can say I passionately even like. “Do I” was passable and sounded sincere enough, but the overproduction didn’t do it for me. Besides that, every one of his singles since then would at best slightly lean “Thumbs Down” to me.


    And this gets us to “Drink A Beer” and why I consider that single no less disingenuous than “That’s My Kind of Night”.

    When you size it up to the aforementioned tracks off his debut album, it’s apparent how hollow and calculating it is. The lyrics are horrendously embarrassing, face-palm inducing simplistic, and read like a five-year old could write them (that’s not giving the average five-year old enough credit). And Bryan doesn’t even sound emotionally committed vocally. He sounds distant from the material, especially in how he deadpans “Don’t feel like going home!”.

    Finally, Chris Stapleton may be one of the single best male country vocalists in the meantime and can write some damn solid songs too…………but I would be remiss not to call him and his co-writer out on the atrocity of a hook there. Drinking a beer? Seriously?!!! When Bryan has regularly championed celebratory drinking in other songs, he just comes across looking absolutely disingenuous.

    “Drink A Beer” is the worst release from the album in my opinion because it’s insulting to the intelligence in a way even the obviously idiotic nuclear waste-dripping “That’s My Kind of Night” doesn’t even do. It sounds contrived and dishonest.


    But I digress. On to its followup here.

    “Play It Again” is honestly the most passable single to my ears among the four this album has produced.

    Don’t get me wrong: I still find more to dislike than like here. The lyrics are juvenile, scream “Written By Committee!” and basically read like a nearly four-minute ad for mass media conglomerates and XM Radio. The production is painfully sterile too.

    Here’s where Bryan wins a few points from me, however. He actually sounds impassioned vocally. He sings the hell out of the chorus and sounds like he’s truly connected with the song at hand, and that proves to be a saving grace of sorts. Not enough to tilt the scales to critical approval here, but nearly close enough.

    • Vickye says:

      I totally agree in regards ‘Drink A Beer’, although I just preferred the style of song to his others. I can’t fault your argument though, the song is entirely disingenuous, and my review of it is floating around somewhere if you want to take a look (obviously too lazy to link). I also love how it was out of the blue a tribute to his brother and sister, and suddenly we all had to buy it and feel sorry for him. I hate that kind of marketing. But anyway, ‘Play It Again’ is just boring and fades into the background. For me, whatever passion Luke is putting forth doesn’t make up for the fact it’s frankly a shit song.

  4. Livewire says:

    Just as I thought UKCountryRadio.com (“Playing the Hottest Country Music for the UK”) are now featuring “Play It Again” this week. It isn’t an April Fool either!

  5. Me says:

    I’m thinking you have to be able to connect to this song. Obviously- you don’t. However, the song itself is really sweet- if you have a song that is so strongly “your” song, this could become your new song. I love this song, and I’m sorry you don’t get the emotional appeal it gives real country listeners.

  6. Lisa says:

    I don’t like that line at all! I don’t know a woman that want sugar in her Dixie cup. That is just Sick. And if they do that are getting paid for it.

  7. vally says:

    Oh my goodness. Luke Bryan is known for his voice and songs. This song is number one for a reason. Why? Because it’s a great song. Oh my God, this is my song is such a real reaction for a girl to have when her favorite song comes on the radio. So if you’re going to be a hater be a hater in private.

  8. Paul R says:

    This song feels flat-footed and out of date due to the content. People don’t wait for songs to come on again, they download it for .99 and listen to it whenever they want to.

  9. cally says:

    play it again is an awesome song stop smack talking it

  10. Taylor says:

    That’s not what he means by “pour a little sugar in her dixie cup” It’s an old, old Southern saying meaning to sweet talk a girl.

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