“She wants my hands on her body / She wants to burn like she’s made of fire,” reads the pre-chorus of Luke Bryan’s new song. “What She Wants Tonight” depicts a woman owning the night and getting anything her heart desires 一 and that includes a dance in the sheets. It’s the kind of tepid radio fodder you’d probably expect from Bryan, which is a real shame as he displays a solid vocal and compelling phrasing choices. But those moments are fleeting.
Co-written with Hillary Lindsey (Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town), Ross Copperman (Billy Currington, Keith Urban) and Jon Nite (Lee Brice, Darius Rucker), it treads water between seeking for a more mature portrayal of women and failing to make any sort of profound statement 一 in fact, he casts the lead as a femme fatale-like character with only lust in her heart. “She gets what she wants / And I get to be what she wants tonight,” he sings.
The production exhibits some promise as electric guitars riff off one another into a mesmerizing mist, and the drum loop quite engages the senses. Bryan wrangles the arrangement to his will, as he often does, but the problem lies in retreading musical style, rhythm and paper thin lyrics that have already been performed countless times over 一 and to greater effect. The charm is deflated here.
Listen to “What She Wants Tonight” below.