Album Review: Luke Combs Delivers the Perfect Father’s Day Gift With ‘Fathers & Sons’

Few artists in country music see meteoric rises to fame like Luke Combs. He introduced himself to the world with his 2017 debut album This One’s for You and almost immediately blew up. His first three albums went to No. 1 and his fourth peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart. He also launched 16 singles to the top of the publication’s Country Airplay chart. Combs has also won 11 CMA Awards, four ACM Awards, and six Billboard Music Awards among others.

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For a few years, he delivered high-energy, beer-soaked country music that would get just about any party moving. However, as his last two album titles expressed, he’s been growing up and getting old. These days, Combs is a family man. And, as a songwriter who regularly pulls lyrics from his life, his fifth album Fathers & Sons reflects that stage of his life.

Luke Combs Shows Personal Growth

Fans looking for more tracks like “Beer Never Broke My Heart” may find this release a bit lacking. However, those who are looking for something deeper will be pleased. A father of two boys, Combs co-wrote all but three of the album’s 12 tracks that show where his priorities lie today.

The title, Fathers & Sons doesn’t just announce what the songs in this collection are about. It’s also a nod to who this album seems to be for. It is packed with emotionally vulnerable songs from the point of view of a man who is living the dual life of being a father and a son. Several tracks see Combs looking back to things he learned from his father in order to better raise his little men.

Nuts & Bolts of Fathers & Sons

With all of the artificial instruments, snap tracks, and other experimental additions to modern country music, this album stands out. Luke Combs chose to record Fathers & Sons live in the studio with a group of A-list musicians. Jim “Moose” Brown (keys), Sam Bush (mandolin), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Mark Hill (bass), Josh Hunt (drums), Joey Landreth (electric guitar), Steve Mackey (bass), Josh Matheny (dobro), Jerry Roe (drums), Jonathan Singleton (acoustic guitar), Bryan Sutton (acoustic guitar) and Charlie Worsham (acoustic guitar) provide the sonic backdrop this record.

Standout Tracks

Luke Combs packed a dozen great songs onto Fathers & Sons. The songwriting, instrumentation, production, and vocals on all 12 songs are air-tight. So, picking standout songs from the collection really depends on emotional impact. Your mileage may vary

“Whoever You Turn Out to Be” (Ben Stennis, Rhett Akins)

This song has such an important message while also showing the kind of dad Combs is. Even if he didn’t write the lines Now it might work out that you don’t turn out anything like me / But I’ll love whoever you turn out to be he sings them like he means them.

So many young men feel the need to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, even if it isn’t where their path leads. However, a good dad knows that all he can do is share his knowledge, wisdom, and love with his kids and trust that they grow up to be good people.

“Front Door Famous” (Blake Densmore, Luke Combs, Nick Columbia, Noah Thompson, Robert Snyder)

Combs couldn’t have picked a better song to open Fathers and Sons with. “Front Door Famous” sees him singing about balancing his career and family life. More than that, it shows where his priorities lie. In a nutshell, this is him saying “Sure, being a country star is great but it doesn’t compare to being greeted by my little man when I get home.”

“Remember Him That Way” (Jessi Alexander, Jonathan Singleton, Combs)

For most of the album, Combs sings about being a father. On “Remember Him That Way” though, he takes on the role of an adult son who still looks up to his aging dad.

Boys, especially when they’re young, tend to see their fathers as superheroes. However, as they grow into men, they begin to see their dads as just guys doing their best to make it through life like everyone else. In this track, Combs sings about seeing his father aging and choosing to remember him as the ten-foot-tall and bulletproof hero who raised him.


Overall, Fathers & Sons represents some of the most personal and vulnerable songwriting Luke Combs has ever shared. As a result, it may be his strongest outing to date.

Those hoping for the soundtrack for a rocking tailgate party will have to go to Combs’ previous releases. However, for those looking for music that will, as the kids say, “hit you right in your feels” Fathers & Sons is the perfect fit, especially for Father’s Day.

Featured Image by Amy E. Price/Getty Images

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