After his EP The Prequel helped shatter Country music records earlier this year, there’s no telling what’s next for Luke Combs and his sophomore album, What You See Is What You Get. But before we get to Combs’ surefire smash second LP, please allow us to brag for a moment.
The 2019 CMA Awards return to Nashville on Wednesday November 13, and Luke Combs will be the host for RADIO.COM exclusive coverage of the event. That includes the “CMA Red Carpet Countdown,” a one-hour on-air special hosted by Luke and simulcasting on all RADIO.COM Country stations before the CMAs. You can only hear it here and on the RADIO.COM app at 7pm ET on Wednesday November 13.
“Since I’m hosting your ‘CMA Red Carpet Countdown,’ I would also like to take a minute to remind you that my new album, ‘What You See Is What You Get’ is out now,” Luke smiles, and leans into the camera. “Why’s it called RADIO.COM? Why isn’t it called RADIO.Combs. It should be. I’m filing an injunction, with someone, for that.”
As we await our injunction, can we talk about Luke’s new album? Filled with 17 songs on love, life, and the pursuit of beer – What You See Is What You Get is filled with party-starters and emotional moments, sure to be blaring from speakers of all shapes and sizes for months to come.
We asked Combs, since you’re going to be hosting for us, would you mind sharing some of the stories behind the songs? Being the gentlemen that he is, he opened up about the making of the title track, and the two collaborations that made their way onto the album with Eric Church and Brooks & Dunn.
“What You See Is What You Get”
“I had had this idea for a while,” Combs recalls to RADIO.COM. “I was really headstrong about – I want to write this song and I want to write this idea and I want it to be different. I really just wanted to get out, ‘hey I’m this but I’m also that,’ the juxtaposition between I can be this way, but I can also be that way,” he says as he motions to either side of the room.
“I think it’s a cool twist on the idea of, you know, what you see is what you get is such a concrete thing, but it’s not always that simple either,” he adds. “Outside appearances are not always the same as the way you feel inside. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t know if the song necessarily goes that deep but, that was kind of what I wanted to get across in that song.
“1, 2 Many” (Featuring Brooks & Dunn)
The chorus for “1, 2 Many” came along almost four year ago, but it took time for Luke to find the right fit for the rest. “I really did struggle with it for a while,” he admits, before working with some writing friends on the road. Dan Isbell and Drew Parker started working while Luke was on stage, and nearly finish before he got back. “They probably had it three quarters of the way done by the time I got back. It was just really going in the right direction and we polished it off that night.”
“Does To Me” (Featuring Eric Church)
“I did have a really regular childhood. My parent have been married for 30-something odd years, we always had enough to eat, and a roof over our head,” says Combs. “But that definitely doesn’t mean that my parents weren’t struggling for money. They just did a really good job of living within their means and being the parents that they should be.”
These kind of everyday achievements are at the center of “Does To Me,” with Combs celebrating the small stuff .“You should be able to say with confidence, I did that. Maybe it’s not winning the gold medal at the Olympics but I’m proud of it.”
It’s a sentiment and spirit that Luke felt was the right fit for Eric Church.
“Eric Church was an obvious choice when it came to finding somebody to do that song with,” he adds. “Not only because I felt like it fit his writing style, but also his mentality, his approach to music. I think it was just a really good fit.”
What You See Is What You Get is now available everywhere. Be sure to check out Luke Combs during RADIO.COM’s coverage of the 2019 CMA Awards, and on stage when the show is broadcast at 8PM ET / 7PM CT on ABC.