Luke Bryan – “Someone Else Calling You Baby”

Janet Goodman | August 23rd, 2010

Luke BryanIt’s been quite a year for Capitol Nashville recording artist Luke Bryan. His summer/fall Farm Tour kicked off with a grueling schedule of 40 cities, just days after his wife gave birth to their second child. He’s received two ACM Awards, and the initial releases off his sophomore CD Doin’ My Thing (“Do I” and “Rain is a Good Thing”) have gone to #2 and #1 on the Billboard charts. Now–perhaps for the first time–Bryan becomes his own hard act to follow with the release of his new single, “Someone Else Calling You Baby.”

Following such a dynamic song as “Rain” could be tough; it’s fair to say, that with that rollicking fun, daisy-chain lyric it may even be dubbed his signature piece. On its own merits, “Someone Else Calling You Baby,” lacks the power of an unpredictable lyric like he wowed listeners with in “Rain.”

Here, he sings to his girl who asked for space and took a break from their relationship, only to be spotted later in her driveway, sitting in a truck with another guy. One would think that at this point, the couple has officially split. What follows, though, is his constant pleading to be told the truth. He sings, “Baby, is someone else calling you baby/It’s driving me crazy…Don’t try to save me/Is someone else calling you baby.” The fact that this confrontation with the girl is in the chorus, repeated over and over in the song, makes the singer appear desperate for answers that are already made clear by her actions. Written in a straightforward style, with no story twists, no metaphors, the lyrical outcome is somewhat ho hum.

Back in 1995, country artist Rhett Akins had a hit with “That Ain’t My Truck,” but the singer in that Tom Shapiro/Chris Waters penned song easily read the writing on the wall when he caught his girl in a similar situation in front of her house: “But there’s nothin’ left to say/That Chevy 4×4 says it all/Sittin’ in my place.”

What’s going to drive this number on the airwaves is its music, as well as Bryan’s performance. Produced by co-writer Jeff Stevens, the catchy mid-tempo melody, punctuated in all the right spots by a youthful rock guitar riff, add meat to the bones of the tune, while Bryan shows off his Georgia down-home pipes in the chorus. He’s got just the right combination of twang and croon to pull it off.

A better end-of-summer release might have been the track “What Country Is,” with its hot, lazy feel, and fresh, tour de force lyric writing. Compared to some of the other tracks on his album, “Someone Else Calling You Baby” is no stand-out; but there’s no denying he’s on a roll, and whatever this charming son of a peanut farmer sings these days usually turns out to be embraced by radio.

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Listen: Luke Bryan – “Someone Else Calling You Baby”

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  1. Ben Foster
    August 23, 2010 at 7:38 am

    This review sums in up well. “Someone Else Calling You Baby” isn’t so much bad as it is unremarkable. This time Luke just doesn’t reach out and grab me like he did with “Rain Is a Good Thing.”

  2. Charles Murphy
    August 23, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Everyone calling “Rain Is A Good Thing” a good song is a moron. It falls once again under the dumbing down of Nashville songwriting. So what it was Number #1…Any number one song just shows that the label had the money, favors in radio and the national reps doing what the boss told them even if they think the song sucks too…in order to make that happen.

  3. Leeann Ward
    August 23, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Charles,
    I’ve been called worse. While I thought the song was decent before, I probably wouldn’t have liked the song as much if not for Jim Malec’s review of it though.

  4. Waynoe
    August 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Malec said of Luke’s rain song, “Country music has traditionally trended a bit toward the conservative side, but never as much as since the post 9/11 moral reclamation, when the genre became a safe place to turn to find all of the right kinds of messages—more than ever before, country music was about God, family and country.
    A sexless environment is an articifical one, however, and country music has suffered for its recent lack of intimacy, tension and adult conflict.”

    So songs now need to contain less pro-America, pro-family, pro-God and increase it’s use of sex and adult conflict to have a better “potential” of a good review?

    Janet said, “What’s going to drive this number on the airwaves is its music, as well as Bryan’s performance.”

    I think I have been saying that all along. Voice and melody first with lyrics secondary for the casual country music listener are the usual orders of the day.

  5. Leeann Ward
    August 23, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Hey, at least he gave a mainstream artist a positive review.

  6. Leeann Ward
    August 23, 2010 at 10:47 am

    As for this song in particular? Ditto.

  7. Waynoe
    August 23, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Leeann,

    Yeh, you’re right. I should have made mention of that.

  8. Noeller
    August 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Not to get off-topic, but I totally agree with what Malec said about “Rain…” — Country music has become WAYYYYYYY too bland, and needs an edge. Sex, drugs and conflict is exactly what the doctor ordered.

  9. Fizz
    August 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Waynoe, on your first paragraph: YES! PLEASE! I’m a grown-up. I don’t need some singer to preach to me and sing me songs about his kiddoes, or how everything is just hunky-dory. I admit, I’m a lot pickier about country lyrics than I am about the rock lyrics I listen to. THe emphasis is different. You can holler any damn thing you want, bury it under two electric guitars, and you can’t really understand it anyway, so it doesn’t matter as much how ridiculous the words actually are. In country, the focus is on the lyrics. The vocals are upfront in the mix where you can’t help but hear them. Other instruments all but stop playing when the singer opens his mouth. Then there’s the whole “storytelling’ angle.

    As for “What Summer Is,” it’s just another stupid string of cliches: biscuits, sweet tea, fishing and no air-conditioning. ZZZZZZZZ!

  10. Mike Parker
    August 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I agree “What Country Is” would have been a better choice… yes, it’s a more-of-the-same list song, but it’s the best one I’ve heard in a long time and really exposes the sloppiness of songs like “small town USA” and “way out here.”

  11. Fizz
    August 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    How about one that goes:

    Got no a/c and the fans are both broke
    The stamping plant closed and I’m a pig in a poke
    But I hated it anyway …
    Too dumb and lazy to make up a plan
    Eatin’ Vienna sausages straight from the can
    But I like ‘em so it’s okay …
    Rattly ol’ truck, no valid tags
    ALl the girls in town turned into toothless hags
    And they all smell like Cheez Whiz
    No job, no money, no tractor neither
    Come winter, no kerosene for the heater
    But that’s what country is …

    I know, that’s as played-out as the other kind in its own way, but give me something besides these phony feel-good messages!

  12. Fizz
    August 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    My middle-school sweetheart was Tammy Lou Jo Beth
    And we’re still together and she’s hooked on meth
    But it’s all right, so am I …
    Rollin’ around in sweet barnyard hay
    Gave us the five hungry kids we’ve got today
    Dumb as me, and that’s no lie …
    No hope, no chance, no prospect
    We just get by on Mama’s crazy-check
    And the pills she won’t miss …
    Cheap beer, stale bread, headlice shampoo
    I love my life, how ’bout you?
    That’s what country is …

  13. Mike Parker
    August 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I hear ya Fizz… but we’re talking about top 40 country. If you’re looking on top 40 for something that isn’t either feel good, or feel bad with a heaping helping of hope, then you’re tuning your radio wrong.

  14. Fizz
    August 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I know it, man. But it’s what the women in the office love this crap. Since I don’t listen to the local rock station either anymore, I just let them have their say with the radio, and vent in private.

  15. Rick
    August 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    UGH! I couldn’t even make it through the intro of this little ditty. Talk about standard issue Top 40 AirHead Country boilerplate dreck! YIKES!

    I will admit that the recent songs I have had this instant reaction to lately tend to hit the Top 10 and often # 1 on the charts! Luke has found the formula for Top 40 success and to me it is about as palatable as musical rat poison…

  16. Vicki
    August 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Luc has a good country voice but he’s got two little ones to feed at home, so he’s gone the top 40 route. I disagree about “Rain”. Frankly, I could not believe it made it to #1 but then Luc is on a roll right now. “Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey”.to me you could have sung..”The itsey-bitsey spider went up the water spout” and it would have been the same.

  17. Matt Bjorke
    August 23, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    While I’m personally a lyrical guy, I do understand and believe that nowadays the melody and vocals matter more in all genres of music with production becoming part of the equation as well (it’s already #1 or 2 in pop).

  18. Kyle
    August 24, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I completely agree that that should have been the single released though… I almost wonder if the label is pumping out as many of the more generic songs as they can while he’s still “hot” to maximize his hits while saving the surefire hit for later or something. If you looked at the “popularity” meter on iTunes when the album was released, it was the most popular song aside from the lead single.

    Fizz: That’s actually really clever, you should save that for when “What Country Is” hits number 1! I don’t agree with your criticism of the song though… it’s not as if he totally glosses over the warts of country living, with references to the “house fly swimming in my sweet tea” and the “box fan on a lawn chair suckin’ in swamp air two-hundred mile marker signs from nowhere”… and while the chorus focuses on the more pleasant aspects of “country”, that’s not a crime. I actually find most of the references pretty authentic and nostalgic (“cars pulling over for a no cab tractor”).

    But most of all, I think it’s very well written (lyrically and musically) and says something that does need to be said in a commercially viable way. Hopefully he releases it before he gets too deep into these album cuts…

  19. Kyle
    August 24, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Last thing – I don’t think by “That’s what country is” he means “That’s what the typical rural American household is like”. I think he’s trying to define “country” as a more complicated term than just “living in a rural area”, and I think it’s a good message for the throngs of young redneck kids (from all over) who blast Lil’ Wayne from their jacked up trucks and consider Jason Aldean “real country music” because he sings/raps about pickups, rednecks and “the sticks”. That’s something different than what country music has been over time, and that’s something different than the traditional values and way of life in the south, and, sentimental or not, I like Bryan’s definition of “country” a lot better than I like the above one.

    Sorry for continuing to derail the discussion, just wanted to get that out.

  20. Fizz
    August 24, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Can’t say I really see a huge difference between Aldean and Bryan. So one guy name-checks Jimmie Rodgers instead of the ever-popular Hank Jr., and it makes him a traditionalist? “Country Man” might as well be the prequel to “Small Town USA.”

  21. Dale
    August 24, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I’m not a fan of anything Luke does, because to me he sounds too nasal-ly when he sings. I’m not sure who taught him how to sing and it could be just his bad luck with the way his body was made, but I don’t like the sound at all. If you like his sound, more power to you.

  22. Leeann Ward
    August 24, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I wouldn’t call myself a fan, but I find Bryan at least more listenable than Aldean.

  23. Mike Parker
    August 24, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I haven’t liked a Luke Bryan ballad yet, but I have enjoyed some of the uptempo/lighthearted stuff. Aldean doesn’t bother me as much as he used to, but I wouldn’t pay to hear his music.

  24. Andrew
    August 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Fully agree Leann. I dont think this song is great or anything, Ive heard much worse. But I can listen to almost anybody over Jason Aldean. His music keeps getting worse and worse.

  25. Jon G.
    August 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Has anyone pointed out that the first hit from “Doin’ My Thing” was titled “Do I” and not “I Do” as it reads in the article?

  26. Brady Vercher
    August 25, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Thanks for pointing that out, Jon G.

  27. Dallas2010
    August 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I LOVE LUKE BRYAN AND JASON ALDEAN. ive paid to go see both in concert and it was a hell of a good show and soo worth the money. i have downloaded every song that jason or luke has ever sang and i think that luke bryan’s new single someone else calling you baby is going to be a big hit with the teenage crowd especially! and i know this seeing as how i am 18 and i love country music. luke bryan and jason aldean are absolutely my top #2 favorite singers.

  28. Regina George
    August 31, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I totally a agree. I have both Luke’s CD’s. I’m not even going to get into the first one but hands down the best song on “Doin My Thing,” is “That’s What Country Is.” It brings up an overdone topic like, Country and uses a-typical references, like “a john deere cap that’s never fell in the cotton” and mentions some one other than Hank (with all due respect)
    the lyrics are awesome and it’s really well written. Tchorus is gone about a little awkwardly but c’mon, it’s better than both “Do I” and “Rain” put together. He’s lucky he’s sexy. those song’s were catchy at best.

  29. Tom UK
    October 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I think this is what it sets out to be: a solid, catchy, entertaining song with a hooky singalong chorus, with a quality performance musically and vocally. Maybe with more work some of the lyrics could have been stronger.

  30. Lynn
    October 12, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Best song on the radio right now!

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