Luke Combs proves he isn't against risk-taking with his new radio single, "Where the Wild Things Are." The mid-tempo outlaw story from Gettin' Old is unlike anything he's every offered programmers.

It's unlike much else that he's considered for his own discography. Thus far, we've acknowledged Combs to be a world-class singer, entertainer and lyricist, but his storytelling catalog is thin. "Even Though I'm Leaving" — a No. 1 hit in 2019 — is the best example of Combs taking someone else's narrative and co-signing. Sure, Combs co-wrote that song, but he wasn't singing from personal experience, as he so often does.

Related: Check Out This Month's Top 40 Country Songs [Power Rankings]

Randy Montana and Dave Turnbull penned "Where the Wild Things Are," a freedom story that recalls James Dean's 1950s America. The main character is the singer's older brother, his hero. The good life is west, so eventually our protagonist follows, but finds he's not able to keep up.

We won't spoil this song's twist other than to say the James Dean comparison works on several levels.

Combs has shown appreciation, but not quite reverence for his record-breaking streak of No. 1 hits. There are more "radio friendly" songs on his last album, but few are finer than "Where the Wild Things Are." It sticks to the ribs, which is worth more than a forgettable No. 1 in any true entertainer's opinion.

Did You Know?: According to, James Dean died at 5:45 PM on Sept. 30, 1955, but he was stopped and ticketed for speeding at 3:30, or "half past three." Pay close attention to the lyrics to learn why that's remarkable.

Listen to Luke Combs, "Where the Wild Things Are":

Luke Combs' "Where the Wild Things Are" Lyrics:

My big brother rode an Indian Scout / It was black like his jacket / American Spirit hangin' outta his mouth / Just like our daddy / He kicked started that bike one night and broke mama's heart / He pointed that headlight west / Out where the wild things are.

He'd call me up every couple of weeks / From South California / Talk about the desert and the Joshua Tree / And his pretty girl stories / And how he bought an Airstream trailer and a J-45 guitar / Said, Little brother, you'd love it out here / Out where the wild things are.

Oh, it's hearts on fire and crazy dreams / Oh, the nights ignite like gasoline / And light up those streets that never sleep when the sky goes dark / Out where the wild things are.

I called my brother from the back of that plane / The second I made it / We started drinkin' on the strip in LA / And then it got crazy / Ended up at a house in the hills with some Hollywood stars / Kissin' on a blonde in a backyard pool / Out where the wild things are.

Oh, yeah / Couple iron horse rebels / Wild as the devil / I knew I had to move back east / Said goodbye to my brother / At the end of that summer / But I knew he'd never leave/

Oh, it's hearts on fire and crazy dreams / Oh, where the nights ignite like gasoline / And oh, them Indian Scouts, man they're built for speed / And oh, they said he hit that guardrail at half past three / Lit up those streets that never sleep when the sky goes dark / We buried him out in the wind 'neath the West Coast stars / Out where the wild things are / Out where the wild things are.

attachment-Where the Wild Things are Cover Art
Sony Music Nashville

The Top 40 Country Songs of 2023, Ranked

The best country songs of 2023 fit snug over your life and experiences. Each is written from personal experiences, but somehow, that translates as if it were custom to each of us. We've loved, we've longed, we've lost and we've cut loose in the country.

Airplay charts, sales data and streaming numbers helped make this list of country music's Top 40 songs of 2023, but staff and Taste of Country reader opinion were most influential. Songs included on previous Top Country Songs lists were not eligible. A song may have been released in 2022, but it had to have the majority of recorded airplay or impact this year to count.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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