A Review of Luke Combs’ 'What You See Ain’t Always What You Get'

If there is one artist absolutely killing the country music scene right now, it is hands down Luke Combs. He is constantly breaking records all across the country music industry, including records he has already set. For example, he has released nine singles to radio over the last four years and all nine of them have peaked at number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. In 2019, Luke Combs was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. The man is ridiculously talented, to put it plainly. 

Back in November of 2019, Luke Combs released his second album "What You See Is What You Get." The original release peaked at #1 on the US Billboard 200. Throughout quarantine, he posted clips of new possible songs on his Instagram account, sparking fans to wonder what exactly Combs had up his sleeve. He even released a song entitled “Six Feet Apart” in May about the pandemic that was eventually added to the streaming version of the album. This past August, Luke Combs gave fans a much-needed pick-me-up. He announced he would be re-releasing "What You See Is What You Get" as the deluxe album "What You See Ain’t Always What You Get" with the original 17 tracks, “Six Feet Apart” and five new songs.

Now, I’ll be honest with you. Luke Combs definitely is one of my favorite musicians of all time. The guy is a lyrical genius, and his songs are accompanied by some killer instrumentals. I was super excited to see what new songs he came up with during the months since the album’s original release.

During my first listen of the original album, I certainly enjoyed it. However, I felt like his album "This One’s For You" was much better. I just wasn’t overly impressed with any of the songs that hadn’t been released as radio singles yet. But after a few more listens, I don’t know what the heck I was thinking because the original version of this album is fantastic! You can see how Combs has grown as an artist and has really improved his craft over the last few years. It’s refreshing to hear music that actually sounds like it comes from instruments rather than a computer. Obviously, the guitar is heavily featured along with the piano, and even the mandolin makes an appearance. 

I’ve definitely got to give the new songs a few more listens before I can officially rank all of the songs in this album, but I really like all five! The new five songs cover everything from falling in love, breakups and the people who matter most to you in life. These songs fit in perfectly with the rest of the songs on this album in tone, musicality and topic. Also, this man writes the catchiest songs, y’all! His use of taking lyrics and spinning them on their head really comes through on this album. 

I really do love a lot of the songs on this album, but I’m going to narrow it down to just five favorites. I’m sure my top five off the album will have changed by the time you’re reading this. Going in the order they appear on the tracklist, I’d have to say that my top five are “Refrigerator Door,” “Dear Today,” “All Over Again,” “Better Together” and “Without You.” I normally like country songs that are more upbeat and fun, but this top-five kind of contradicts that. “Refrigerator Door” is a song that most families can relate to, no matter where you come from. The song that stuck out to me the most on my first listen of the entire original album was “Dear Today.” It really made me think about the way I live my life and what I need to prioritize. Plus, it really hits different in quarantine. I’m not sure what it is about “All Over Again” that I love so much. I think it’s something about the lyrics of the chorus overtop the awesome melody. “Better Together” might just be the sweetest love song I’ve ever heard; it better be played at my wedding. Out of the new songs on the album, “Without You” is hands down my favorite. He pays tribute to his parents that greatly supported him while he pursued his passion for music. If I’m being completely honest, the lyrics made me want to cry happy tears.

There aren’t any bad songs on this album that come to mind. Sure, I’m a little tired of hearing some of the ones they overplay on the radio, but that isn’t Luke’s fault! Plus, those songs are still great in their own right.

The CMA Awards happened on November 11, and Luke Combs actually ended up taking home Album of the Year with the original version of "What You See Is What You Get"! That’s gotta tell you something about how awesome this album is. 

If you’re in the mood for a classically good country album that doesn’t sound exactly like everything else on country radio right now, I’d definitely recommend that you give "What You See Ain’t Always What You Get" a listen!