Blake Shelton Wins Big, Jason Aldean & Ludacris Duet at CMT Awards

75 Billboard Rating

LUKE BRYAN
I Don't Want This Night To End (3:39)
Producer: Jeff Stevens
Writers: Luke Bryan, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Atkins, Ben Hayslip
Publishers: Various
Capitol Nashville

There are a lot of aspects of "I Don't Want This Night To End," the second single off Luke Bryan's "Tailgates and Tanlines," that should not work; namely, the singer-songwriter's clunky pacing, the out-of-place guitar solo and the line, "Your pretty little eyes so blue/Are pulling me in, like the moon on your skin." Yet, somehow, Bryan turns what could have been a generic anthem into an emotionally engrossing snapshot of the type of longing every listener has encountered. As he sings about cruising around with a girl who can let her hair down and put her hands up while "singing every song" on the radio, Bryan's husky vocals become unexpectedly strained, denoting a deep-seated hurt that comes with looking back on a lost moment. It's a surprisingly poignant effect, and hints at Bryan's future star potential after "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" scored on country radio earlier this year.

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