Album Review – Luke Bryan’s ‘Spring Break…Checkin’ Out’ EP

Luke-Bryan-Spring-Break-Checkin-Out

Finally! That was what I said when I saw this would be Luke Bryan’s final spring break EP. Since 2009 Bryan each year has released an EP of spring break songs that are even more awful than the songs you hear on his albums. Keep in mind all of these EPs have been released since he was in his early 30s to now when he’s in his late 30s. Also he’s a married man with two kids. So let’s get this straight: Bryan is singing songs that appeal to teenager girls (and frat boys) that could easily pass as his own kids. A married man who is a father shakes his ass on stage and sings about spring break. Creepy is the best word to describe this. So what’s the point in doing a review? Well I wanted to give this series of terrible and weird music the proper goodbye it deserves. I’m only going to review the Spring Break…Checkin’ Out EP with the five new songs, not the album with the five new songs plus the “best of” from his previous spring break albums. I don’t think I could handle reviewing more than five.

So let’s not delay this any longer and take a look at Bryan’s final spring break EP. It starts off with “My Ol’ Bronco,” which as you may guess is about an old Ford Bronco. This has to be one of the most boring songs I’ve ever heard about a vehicle. I mean it’s boring enough with the theme, but Bryan doesn’t even exhibit any charisma. This song is so bland you can’t even hate it. I’m sure the people at Ford love this and may even use it for an ad, but I just don’t see how anyone could enjoy this song. It’s going for nostalgia appeal, but it can’t even accomplish this.

The next song, “Games,” has an interesting mix of sounds. The song starts out sounding like Chase Rice’s “Ready Set Roll” and I’m preparing myself for the worst. But then that fades more throughout the song. Piano interludes then start to surface throughout the song and electric guitar play dominates the most instrumentation-wise. This song has no idea what it wants to be sonically. As for theme, it’s about a man and woman playing head games with each other. The man is with a woman a currently, but a woman from his past continues to play with his head in order to get him back. Now this actually has semblance of being a decent song, but Bryan’s immature approach prevents it from being good. The instrumentation also drowns his voice out a lot at times.

“You And The Beach” is basically a rehash of “Roller Coaster.” It has the exact same theme as it’s about leaving behind a woman the man met at a beach and is having a hard time of moving on. The instrumentation is a little livelier at least in “You And The Beach” which makes the song slightly better than “Roller Coaster.” Nevertheless it’s still a pretty generic song and it’s full of stupid clichés that have dominated Bryan’s spring break albums. Good songwriters could have crafted this into a good heartbreak song, as the instrumentation isn’t bad and Bryan’s vocals are good. The instrumentation starts out good and stays as such throughout “Checkin’ Out.” The problem arises as soon as Bryan begins to sing, as the lyrics for this song are garbage. Bryan pretty much repeats every party drinking song cliché throughout the song over and over. It’s just another mindless party song that adds nothing to the genre. I mean the instrumentation is actually there, but the lyrics are terrible and easily make this the worst song on the EP.

The final song on the EP is “Spring Breakdown,” which is basically Bryan’s farewell to his spring break EP tradition. He thanks the fans and sings about all of the good times they had with these songs. It’s a pretty generic song and will only mean something to Bryan’s fans who loved this sub par music. I will say the hook on this song is pretty damn corny as Bryan utters “I’m about to spring breakdown” over and over throughout the song. I was expecting Bryan to start producing some alligator tears at the end. So I guess people get nostalgic about drinking until they blackout and hooking up with random people at the bar? I just laughed at this song.

Luke Bryan’s Spring Break…Checkin’ Out EP wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s still bad music, but it mostly just bored me and made me roll my eyes. I’ve heard these songs so much in country music that I think my ears are numb to this type of crap. Maybe Bryan has grown up too, although I’ll believe it when I hear it in his songs. I think this spring break EP tradition is being put to a stop because Bryan and his team of writers have realized that there’s not a lot to sing about when it come to spring break and you can only rehash the same stuff for so long until even the fans you’re catering to are even bored by it. This EP will be forgotten about a month from now and I know I’ll never miss this type of yearly music released by Bryan. Spring Break…Checkin’ Out is just a giant yawn that concludes an embarrassing group of music.

Grade: 2.5/10

32 thoughts on “Album Review – Luke Bryan’s ‘Spring Break…Checkin’ Out’ EP

  1. Raymond March 11, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    Well I’ll just assume this thing is garbage. I was so expecting a 0/10. I wonder what album or EP will get that special feature this year besides Raelynn cause so far in single releases Kiss You In The Morning and Doing Country Right are 0/10. Luke Bryan I imagine will probably be debuting a new song at the ACMs I don’t know what’s worse Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton hosting or Luke’s inevitable Entertainer of the Year same thing with Miranda and female vocalist. I do have a bunch of new songs that appear to be getting sent to radio next upcoming weeks.
    Lady Antebellum Long Stretch Of Love
    Brothers Osborne Stay A Little Longer
    Blake Shelton Sangria.
    I wonder what you guys think of these songs.
    I will take your guys word and assume 2.5/10 hopefully with how boring it is maybe Luke will put more effort in his next album.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Derek Hudgin March 11, 2015 / 3:21 pm

    This music is so painfully boring. I don’t know if it’s Luke’s small vocal range that requires such a similar to production to his songs (not only on this EP but across the board), or if his production team just has no creativity, but it really is like listening to rehashed versions of his hits.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pete Marshall March 11, 2015 / 4:01 pm

    Should I buy this cd? is it worth it guys?

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    • Josh Schott March 11, 2015 / 4:19 pm

      No way. It’s pretty forgettable music.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. NoahHibiscusEaton March 11, 2015 / 6:09 pm

    Honestly, to begin with, I have to say I actually disagree with your general assertion on Luke Bryan’s EPs compared t his full-length releases.

    I prefer his “Spring Break” releases. And here’s why.

    Because with his full-length studio releases, he is trying to purport himself as a serious artist, yet hasn’t released a single thing I’d give a thumbs-up score since “WE Rode In Trucks” off his debut LP “I’ll STay Me” (ha, that ship certainly sailed, didn’t it? 😉 ). The hype surrounding “Drink A Beer”, for instance, was most insulting to the intelligence and I consider even worse than his already terrible “That’s My Kind Of Night” and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”. Everyone was begging it to be regarded as “Song of the Year”-worthy material, but it is absolutely hollow and shallow and disingenuous.in that Bryan doesn’t even sound emotionally invested in his performance and the lyrics ring just as closely to another beer commercial than a genuinely sad song. Thus, Bryan’s studo albums ted to piss me off as to how soulless and mechanical they sound.

    With his “Spring Break” albums, in contrast, yes: they’re dumb as sand. Yes, they’re empty-calorie ear candy. But you know what: at least his intentions are honest there and at least he sounds like he’s genuinely having fun. Unlike his studio albums being hyped as something more than they actually are, Bryan’s “Spring Break” releases dispense of all pretense and, here and there, can be listenable I dare say. Because as lame as the majority of the lyrics are, I do dig some of the grooves and they match what truly constitutes a party atmosphere.

    There are a few exceptions. “Night One” sounds too telenovela-like and falls flat in trying to go for a more serious and reflective angle to the Spring Break experience. And while I like some of the production of “Are You Going With Him?”, that kind of disrupts the flow and pacing of the album as well and broods too much. And while it is one of his better songs in recent years, “My Ol’ Bronco” sounds out of place here in my opinion. It actually sounds like something better fitted for a full-length studio album because, after all, the vehicle in that song could also serve as a metaphor for Bryan’s own rite of passage.

    But there were moments I didn’t mind at all and can somewhat enjoy if provided the right mood. “The Sand I Brought To The Beach” has a nice production to it and some crunchy guitar. I won’t deny “Games” and “Like We Ain’t Ever” have strong hooks that are liable to get stuck in your head and don’t sound as bad as the production styling you hear on the radio a lot now. And I agree I prefer “You & Te Beach” to the mediocre and dull as hell “Roller Coaster”.

    *

    In the end, I wouldn’t recommend this surely, but while you can do vastly better than this…………………you can also do significantly worse.

    For what it’s worth, because it doesn’t try to promote itself as anything more than it really is: dumb, energetic, ultimately forgettable but mostly inoffensive party songs that cater to a youthful demographic………….and there were moments I genuinely appreciated……………..I’m going to give this a 3.5/10. Perhaps I’m being generous, but this honestly didn’t bother me, really, and it isn’t like it’s going to be a relic anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek Hudgin March 12, 2015 / 8:49 am

      I get that to an extent. But this has been so overdone with Luke Bryan that it’s just obnoxious now more than anything. Back when I was only listening to mainstream country, this annual release was kind of cool to me with the first couple released. And I actually still kind of enjoy an earlier “Spring Break” song of his – “If You Ain’t Here To Party.” When it comes to a carefree party song, that’s pretty inoffensive and fun, and released still when this “Spring Break” project didn’t feel overdone and old. I think the novelty, so to speak, of this annual EP/Album wore off after the third EP.

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      • NoahHibiscusEaton March 14, 2015 / 1:25 am

        Ultimately my grading rubric, it stands to reason, is going to be different from how each and every one of us individually evaluate songs. To some, lyrics are the most important part, while to others it’s the music, and to others it’s a much more complicated formula.

        A lot of things factor into how I evaluate content, but admittedly I always try and picture 1) the intention of the artist(s), 2) what their audience is and 3) how well do they deliver to that audience as part of my evaluation. Then I couple that with actual quality to my ears

        Luke Bryan’s music, in my opinion, has just lacked quality dating all the way back to his debut album “I’ll Stay Me”. He hasn’t released a solitary +1 single to date, in my opinion, since “We Rode In Trucks” (don’t let the title fool you if you haven’t heard it yet! 😉 )………and it remains his ONLY +1 single to date. However……………I tend to be more lenient on his “Spring Break” releases than his full-length studio albums because, with his studio albums, he is begging to be taken seriously as an artist and, yet, just keeps delivering shallow material at best, deplorable material at worst……………….while with his “Spring Break” releases, what you see is what you get and the product matches the intention.

        That aside, I actually prefer some of the production choices he makes on his “Spring Break” releases over his proper releases. That is partly why it got a seemingly generous 3.5/10 from me. Because I’ve heard worse production on his official studio albums, backed by songs that beg to be taken seriously but I can’t do so no matter how hard I try.

        At least Bryan is honest about who “Spring Break” is for, so it’s just not something worth grovelling over on any level…………………..as much as I understand the feeling of relief Bryan is finally moving on.

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  5. petemarshall724 March 11, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    I hope his new album won’t have any crappy song on it.

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    • NoahHibiscusEaton March 11, 2015 / 9:06 pm

      Well, when his rumored lead single is a Dallas Davidson co-write titled “Kickin’ Up The Dust”…………….yeah, I wouldn’t hold my hopes up quite that high! 😉

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