Luke Combs' latest album cover design is a little bit of a thinker, but plenty of eagle-eyed fans got it.

In late January, when he revealed the title and cover art for his next album, it was immediately clear that there's a connection between this project — Gettin' Old — and his 2022 album — Growin' Up. For one thing, both titles are a reference to his song, "Growin' Up and Gettin' Old," which is a reflection on life's different phases and stages.

When it came out last June, Growin' Up reflected on those themes: Combs traded in some of his signature beer-drinking bangers for tracks like the forward-thinking, responsible "Tomorrow Me" and the goofy, '90s-themed "On the Other Line."

It seems clear that Growin' Old will continue trending in that direction. "This album is about the stage of life I'm in right now," Combs explained when he announced the project, elaborating to say that the songs are about "Loving where life is but missing how it used to be, continuing to fall for the one you love and loving them no matter what, living in the moment but still wondering how much time you have left, family, friends, being thankful and leaving a legacy."

The connection between the two albums is visually apparent, too. After he shared the cover art for Gettin' Old — a close-up shot of half of Combs' face, with a nighttime scene of a house in the hills in the background — fans quickly started to point out that if you put that image side by side with the Growin' Up cover, you can see Combs' entire face. The Growin' Up cover art's background is a drawing of a crowded bar, patrons sitting on barstools.

"Now does it all make sense?" Combs wrote on social media on Sunday night (Jan. 29), posting a photo of the two cover art shots together. "Kudos to everyone who called it!"

He also shared a video that shows the progression of the album cover art concept. In its earliest form, this two-part album cover art was a stick figure drawing that Combs himself did by hand. It looks like the general concept of Growin' Up showing a bar and Gettin' Old showing a house was always the plan, but the details have evolved over the album-making process.

"Band? Show? Fans?" Combs scrawls on the Growin' Up side of the drawing, with arrows pointed to the design. Meanwhile, the early concept of the Gettin' Old cover shows a few differences from the finished product: The sun is shining in Combs' stick figure drawing, with a person sitting in a rocking chair. Neither of those visual elements made it into the finished nighttime scene.

It also looks like Combs thought about making the Gettin' Old cover even more personal than the finished product eventually became. "Nicole?" He questioned in the early draft, a reference to his wife, whom he married in 2020. "Baby? Pregnant?"

Of course, those are details from Combs' personal life. Last June, he and Nicole became first-time parents to a son named Tex, and he spent much of the back half of 2022 adjusting to dad life and spending time with his growing family.

Gettin' Old is due to arrive on March 24. It will contain 18 tracks. One day after the album drops, the singer will embark on his massive 2023 world tour, with features an array of international stops as well as a leg in the U.S. Lainey Wilson, Cody Johnson and Riley Green are all scheduled to join him as openers on the trek.

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