“Gettin’ Old” and “One Thing at a Time” Album Review

Garrett Webber, Reporter

Country music star, Luke Combs, released his fourth studio album on March 24, 2022. The album, titled “Gettin’ Old,” follows his earlier album which was titled “Growin’ Up.” Now that there has been enough time to listen through a few times and reflect on the album, here are my thoughts. 

Simply put, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album. Though Combs isn’t known for an extensive use of features, and it was interesting to listen to an album that was solely his voice. One song that is sure to catch the attention of ears is “Fast Car,” a cover of the famous Tracy Chapman song from the late 80’s. There is a high amount of risk and reward in doing a song like this. Do the cover right, and your version will take over the radio. Do the cover wrong, and you get ridiculed as the face of a new generation of music that pales in comparison to earlier ages. A country version of the melancholic classic was not something that I was aware I wanted, but Combs delivered. Another personal favorite on this album was the lead-off track “Growin’ Up and Gettin’ Old.” I felt that this song set the tone for the album in a great way. Combs followed his formula for a hit with a steady set of verses with a climactic buildup to a booming chorus and a chorus loud enough where you and your friends can sing along without hearing your off-pitch voices. Other tracks that stuck out to me were “Still,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” and “Love You Anyway.” I really enjoyed the energy of “Still.” I think that songs like this where Combs is romantically rambling in a beautiful tone about a woman is when the 33-year-old star is at his best. One song that I find slightly overrated is “5 Leaf Clover.” This track just doesn’t really do it for me; it’s just a little too slow and lifeless for my taste. Maybe it will grow on me, though.  

The cover art caught my eye as well. This latest album pairs with Combs’ previous album, “Growin’ Up.” On the cover art of “Growin’ Up,” Luke Combs has half his face showing. Combs is at the bar with a slight smirk on his face, likely due to some amount of intoxication. This album was in the works before the Combs family had their first child, so he seemingly had more time to spend out and about while “growing up”. The cover art of “Gettin’ Old” shows the other half of Luke, but this time with a more serious look on his face because he is “getting old.” Combs is at his country home, likely with his wife and child. The tracks on this album reflect these sentiments. The track list includes a song about struggling with sobriety, “Joe,” and an ode to Combs’ newborn son, titled “Take You With Me.” These are more mature topics than the romance and booze-themed tunes that Luke Combs fans are used to. Combs made it obvious that he has incredible range, cementing his place in country-music stardom with an album that arguably clears his previous album. As of now I don’t think “Gettin’ Old” passes either of Combs’ first two albums, but there is plenty of time for that to change. 

As you all know, there is another country-music sensation who recently released an album, Morgan Wallen. A few weeks earlier in March, Wallen released his third studio album titled, “One Thing at a Time.” Both artists releasing work within weeks of each other makes for interesting dialogue and comparisons between fans.  J Cole once said, “they act like two legends cannot coexist.” Cole was correct when he said this because I’m going to compare the two albums. In my opinion, Combs’ latest album is better than Wallen’s. Although I am the furthest thing from a gatekeeping country fan, complaining about “real country” and things like that, “Gettin’ Old” is much closer to traditional country than “One Thing at a Time.” Now, Wallen’s album very well might have more hits than Combs’, which makes sense when you consider the fact that Wallen put 36 songs on his album. I felt that “Gettin’ Old” was a little too long for my comfort, and I realized that it has half the number of songs that Wallen put out. Wallen has clearly cracked the code to the music industry. The Tennessee-born singer puts out an exorbitant number of songs at once, knowing that there will be a few which become hits. The other 20-something tracks on the album will be quickly forgotten and Wallen will have a permanent position on the charts. It is a textbook example of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. Hats off to Wallen for his success, but when judging bodies of work, I must go with “Gettin’ Old.” 

“Gettin’ Old”: 8.5/10 

“One Thing at a Time”: 7/10 


Garrett Webber is a Dakota Student General Reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]