Luke Bryan has never shied away from infusing a little sex appeal into his brand of country music. Even if he regularly does so with a goofy “can you believe this?” grin. But last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Bryan went full-on Barry White, turning in a sultry take on new single “Strip It Down.”
Even Fallon himself recognized the raciness of the song, introducing the singer in his own mock pillow-talk voice. But Bryan’s performance wasn’t cheeky. This was the “That’s My Kind of Night” singer going sexy and serious, drawing out lines about feeling his “belt turn loose from these old blue jeans” and getting everything he needs in “those white cotton sheets.”
But along with showing a more adult side of the once Spring Break static Bryan, the second single from his new album Kill the Lights affords him his best shot yet at that elusive Male Vocalist win. Next to “Drink a Beer” and “Do I,” “Strip It Down” stands as his finest vocal performance to date. Watch him emote on Fallon — he’s in the zone — and react to guitarist Michael Carter’s nuanced slide notes.
Bryan’s fifth studio album, Kill the Lights was released last Friday, in tandem with a media blitz that saw the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and his songs pop up everywhere from Good Morning America to Tinder. Currently on tour, he’ll perform Saturday at a music festival in Oregon, before bringing his headlining Kick the Dust Up Tour to Atlanta on August 21st. His annual Farm Tour kicks off September 30th in Indiana.