“Mean” Critic Loves Luke Bryan

“I know I’m supposed to hate Luke Bryan. BUT I LOVE THIS!” That’s what music industry observer Bob Lefsetz wrote about Luke Bryan’s new single, “Drink a Beer.”

It’s a meaningful song, and contrary to the conclusions drawn by a few people who have only listened to a handful of his drinking songs, Bryan does do meaningful really well.

But maybe what’s so shocking about Lefsetz’s high praise for Bryan is that he’s allegedly the ranting character who inspired Taylor Swift to write one of her most popular songs, “Mean.” However, give him credit for having an open mind toward country music.

“I sometimes wonder if I’ve lost my connection to music,” he writes in his blog, the Lefsetz Letter . “There’s so much I don’t understand, so much that is sound without song, and then I hear something like ’Drink a Beer’ and not only am I in love with music again, but my humanity is restored. And, sure, the song is about death. But really it’s about loneliness and reflection.”

(Go back and listen to “The Car in Front of Me” from Bryan’s 2007 debut album if you want to hear a song about death that will really move you.)

In his comments about “Drink a Beer,” Lefsetz goes on and on — lyric by lyric — about how he can relate to every word in the song, even though he admits his drinking days are over.

“But I get the sentiment,” he writes. “Sometimes you just want to disconnect and contemplate this confounding, confusing planet we inhabit. And it’s not bad alone. But with the right song, it’s marvelous.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.