Today's the day - Luke Combs’ brand new album, Gettin’ Old, is finally out in the world, and fans are already commenting on how it seems to signify a noticeable shift in his musical direction.
The sound is more expansive, the narrative feels more reflective and there's an exploration of rock-inspired territory, particularly on tracks such as ‘Fox in the Henhouse’ and ‘Hannah Ford Road’.
Speaking ahead of the release, Combs outlined why this project feels like the beginning of a new era for him. He explained, “I think this album differs a little bit from a production standpoint...there are some things we haven't done before, whether it's instruments we haven't used, or structurally some of the songs being different from things I've done in the past”.
The North Carolina country star qualified this by stressing that the way he approached the songwriting process was still “fundamentally the same”, but that “there were just some things we were willing to do that maybe we wouldn't have done on my previous albums”.
The title, Gettin’ Old, captures the new sense of maturity that pervades most of the songs on the record.
However, Combs revealed that some had missed the intention behind the name of the album, “I've heard a few people say, 'Oh, you know, you say you're getting old but you're only 32', and it's like, no, I'm not saying I'm getting old - I'm saying I'm in the middle of growing up and getting old...I'm in this purgatory-type place of life”.
One of the key changes in Combs’ personal life that inevitably influenced the project was him becoming a father last year.
The arrival of his son, Tex, undoubtedly coloured the new lens through which Combs sees the world on Gettin’ Old.
“I think his presence in my life is definitely felt in the production of this album... that will continue to show itself in future projects as well, so I'm excited to see where that goes”, Combs shared.
As an artist with an unrivalled reputation for putting on an electrifying show, the way these songs will sound when performed live was unsurprisingly at the back of Luke Combs’ mind during the creative process.
He eagerly cites ‘Fox in the Henhouse’ and ‘Hannah Ford’ as two from Gettin’ Old that he's particularly excited to introduce into his setlist, and Combs describes the latter as “probably the fastest, highest tempo song I think we've ever recorded”.
On the album's final song, ‘The Part’, Luke Combs peels back the wide-eyed wonder and gratitude of ‘5 Leaf Clover’, to unveil the loneliness and energy-sapping nature of a touring artist's lifestyle - something that will intensify, given the fact that he's soon to have two children under two.
This is perhaps embodied by the fact that, the day after Gettin’ Old's release, Combs is wasting no time in kicking off his blockbuster 2023 world tour in Arlington, Texas.
Despite the negative aspects of touring that Combs refers to on ‘The Part’, there's still an overwhelming sense of exhilaration at the prospect of breaking new ground with his live show - quite literally.
Combs looks ahead to his international dates with a great sense of anticipation, “Having an opportunity to play for fans we haven't played for before is always exciting...Some of these countries we've never been to are uncharted waters for us”.
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