Album Review

Luke Combs - Fathers & Sons

Fathers & Sons is an album about more than just patriarchal binds, instead becoming a meditation on the moments and the memories that make a life.

Album - Luke Combs - Fathers & Sons
June 13, 2024 9:06 pm GMT

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Luke Combs - Fathers & Sons

Label: Columbia Nashville

Producers: Luke Combs, Chip Matthews & Jonathan Singleton

Release Date: June 14, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. Front Door Famous
2. In Case I Ain’t Around
3. Huntin’ By Yourself
4. Little Country Boys
5. Whoever You Turn Out To Be
6. Remember Him That Way
7. The Man He Sees In Me
8. All I Ever Do Is Leave
9. Plant A Seed
10. Ride Around Heaven
11. My Old Man Was Right
12. Take Me Out To The Ballgame

As the title of Luke Combs’ latest release suggests, that’s exactly what the star’s latest batch of songs is about: fathers and their sons, boys and their dads. A dozen tracks strung together by paternal bonds, Fathers & Sons captures what’s at the heart of such ties, exploring both their complexity and gravity.

Sounds a little dull? That’s because, at times, it can be. The album is gentle and tender, each tune deftly able to tug at the heart. Though, from the warbling and wistful opener, ‘Front Door Famous,’ to the weepy closer, ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame,’ there’s little variation in the songs’ pensive acoustics and familial themes, leaving the album to come off occasionally one-note and a tad sleepy.

Fathers & Sons, however, is a difficult record to dismiss. This writer is neither a father nor a son – I am in the camp of dadless daughters, raised solely by a long-suffering mother and a few too many poor decisions – but that doesn’t mean the album’s offerings fall on deaf ears. If anything, they all hold the same universal message, one that resonates whether you’re a father, a son or neither: Time goes by in an instant; take it all in and love unconditionally while you’re at it.

In between Mossy Oak-coated visions of hunting, fishing and moments reminiscent of The Sandlot, time – the unavoidable passage of it, the desperate grasping for more of it – plays the main character more than a pop and his kid. On ‘Front Door Famous’ and the reflective ‘All I Ever Do Is Leave,’ Combs grapples with being away from his sons and the moments missed while he’s gone, cherishing those fleeting times together on a tune like the bittersweet ‘Huntin’ By Yourself.’ The artist sees time wear on his own father, across an aging face and through graying hair, on ‘Remember Him That Way.’ Elsewhere, Combs ponders time once it runs out, the skin-pricking ‘In Case I Ain’t Around’ and the comforting ‘Ride Around Heaven’ ruminating on what comes after.

As the album plays out, so too do pregnant spaces of fathomless reflection and universal commiseration over life’s finalities. In this way, Fathers & Sons becomes an album about more than just patriarchal binds, about more than simply playing catch or casting a line. It instead becomes a meditation on the moments and the memories that make a life.

7.5/10

Luke Combs’ 2024 album, Fathers & Sons, is available everywhere on June 14 via Columbia Nashville.

For more on Luke Combs, see below:

Written by Alli Patton
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