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A Beginner’s Guide to Luke Combs

by Jake Reed

Luke Combs performs during the Kiss Country Chili Cook-off in Pembroke Pines on January 26, 2019. (Rights by TNS Subscription)

With the summer boating and beaching activities now underway, Miami is split in terms of what types of music to accompany the summer sun. While many turn toward Spanish music or the newer wave of house music, I believe that the proper move is country music.


Now I realize this is a difficult task, considering many people strongly hate the genre. A common misconception is that all country songs are repetitive, sharing the same slow, dull beat and only talking about hunting, fishing, loving and, of course, beer. Those who side with this statement, although partially correct regarding the topics of songs, may be making a hasty judgment after listening to only a few songs or not giving it a proper chance.


As time passes, country music has developed in all sorts of ways. The faces of the genre in 2024 range from Chris Stapleton to Morgan Wallen to Zach Bryan. All three of these artists put forward very distinct styles of classic country, pop country and folk-style country, respectively.


In my experience, the easiest style to get into was the pop style of country. It is represented by artists such as Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Jordan Davis, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, etc.


“In the beginning, I followed trending artists like Morgan Wallen, Zach Bryan, and Luke Combs, but as I became more interested in the genre, I was able to discover new artists I enjoyed. The trending songs at the time served as a gateway to finding more artists that I now find myself listening to, such as Koe Wetzel, Riley Green and ERNEST, to name a few,” says incoming sophomore Sebastian Ruiz.

Throughout the course of their careers, many artists change the styles in which they write. On the same album, there may be a slow-dance song dedicated to a girl, a song reminiscent of adolescent outings, and a song about how good life is post-breakup.

All these songs are from Luke Combs’s 2018 album, This One’s for You Too (Deluxe Edition). Combs provides a variety of upbeat songs to match popular trends of today and manages to switch between attention-grabbing beats and hypnotizing slower melodies for a well-rounded skill set. This enhances my case for Luke Combs being one of the most profound artists and therefore an excellent entry point for anyone who wants to get into all types of country music.


Friday, June 14, marked the release of Luke Combs’s new album, Father & Sons. Although I already love this album, the appreciative yet sad messages regarding his father's impact on him and what he left his own sons may not reach everyone, especially if they are unfamiliar with the genre. Many may even turn it off after one song because it's too slow and they aren’t fully digesting the lyrics.


Before we move into the catchy, rhythmic songs that we all will get to know and love, I do not want to leave this album unacknowledged but rather put it off to the side. If you can play around with different styles and finally develop a more open taste, then I would highly recommend re-listening to the album, as there has been a consensus of perfect songs, with my personal favorites being: “All I Ever Do Is Leave”, “Remember Him That Way” and “Little Country Boys.”


Heading in the opposite direction from all the newer slow songs, I believe five songs are essential to know and appealing to those who may not have immersed themselves in country music completely. The purpose behind utilizing these songs would be to capture the attention of those who seek a captivating beat similar to popular music nowadays.


The songs are as follows:


  • “She Got the Best of Me”

  •  “When It Rains It Pours”

  • “Hurricane”

  • “One Number Away”

  • “The Kind of Love We Make”


I would consider these entry-level songs, as they are some of his most popular works and will turn heads regardless of who’s listening. I would also like to single out “When It Rains It Pours,” as it was the first song of his that I heard. That song, in addition to being a lyrical masterpiece with over 800 million streams on Spotify as of today, started my journey with country music.


If you listened to a few of those and are craving some more, don’t worry. There are plenty more similar-style songs by Combs that will keep you hooked, but they are not as popular. These songs include:


  • “Houston, We Got a Problem”

  • “Must’ve Never Met You” (my personal favorite)

  • “Lovin’ On You”

  • “1, 2 Many”

  • “Cold As You”’

  • “Brand New Man”

  • “A Long Way”

  • “Beer Never Broke My Heart”

  • ”Blue Collar Boys”

  • ”Moon Over Mexico”

  • ”What You See is What You Get”


As for those of you who did not like any of those upbeat options I mentioned earlier, there’s still hope. I saved these for last because they are the moodier of the bunch; they are very unpredictable. During many of these songs, Combs speaks about love, so it tends to be slower, but don’t be fooled; some of them can ramp up pretty quickly. The most popular ones in this group would be these five:


● “Beautiful Crazy”

● ‘Forever After All”

● “Fast Car”

● “Love You Anyway”

● “Where the Wild Things Are”

I would like to point out “Where the Wild Things Are,” as it has an extremely heartfelt story about a narrator hearing about the life and passing of his brother, who lived “out where the wild things are” on the West Coast says Lydia Farthing in this Holler piece. Stories like these can only be interpreted by an attentive listener. That makes a fantastic point on the list as to why country music should be better appreciated by the community.


Finally, to end off the song recommendations, there are a few more in this unpredictable style that have a wholesome message and flow very smoothly. It gets to the point where these types of songs are almost slow songs, but then there are moments that you can envision racing down the highway on full blast.


● “Doin’ This”

● “Does To Me”

● “5 Leaf Clover”

● “Better Together”

● “Even Though I’m Leaving”

● “Going, Going, Gone”

● “Dive”

● “Six Feet Apart”


A fellow country enthusiast, rising junior Robby Tompkins, helped me find many of these songs. I would suggest listening with friends, as it makes the experience much more enjoyable and allows you to try out new types of music you might not have been open to before.


“Luke Combs is an artist that’s for everyone. Whether you are into country music or not, you can still enjoy him,” says Tompkins.

Overall, I would say Luke Combs is the face of country music as of right now, and of course, he is my personal favorite artist. If you enjoyed the songs I presented you with, I encourage you to make a playlist and see what else you are suggested to listen to. That is a wonderful method of finding new styles and artists because apps like Spotify and Apple Music have advanced systems that can really help you out in terms of finding similar songs.


Even if you’ve determined that it is not for you, I must advise you to never turn down a country concert if given the opportunity. Luke Combs’s “Growing Up and Getting Old Tour” was the most electric experience I’ve had in my life, and I regret saying no to earlier concert opportunities.


Regardless of whether you will be listening to country music this summer or not, if you have chosen to listen to my recommendations, you have now experienced 32 songs, which I believe are solid options to get to know country music.


Do you listen to country music?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Sometimes



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