Justin Moore Hits the Mark On ‘Kinda Don’t Care’
Despite the fact that Justin Moore proclaims he doesn’t care, he delivers on his fourth studio album, ‘Kinda Don’t Care’.
In an age where country music has grown more eclectic, sometimes eclecticism is actually a con. While electronic and urban influences are a “sign of the times,” there’s nothing wrong with traditionalism ever so often. On his fourth album, Kinda Don’t Care, more often than not, Arkansas country singer Justin Moore keeps it traditional. With just a couple of exceptions, this traditional script in 2016 is refreshing, not anachronistic.
Kinda Don’t Care
Standout “Robbin’ Trains” kicks off Kinda Don’t Care energetically, chocked full of electricity. Moore is assertive vocally, contributing to the success of the exuberant opener. Arguably the best attribute is the fact that the song is traditional country – nothing pop or contemporary about it. Sophomore song “Put Me In A Box” maintains the momentum despite slackening the pace. The groove lays back more, but the song is exhilarating nonetheless. A catchy chorus certainly doesn’t hurt his cause.
Title tracks are often “hit or miss.” “Kinda Don’t Care” is a hit, continuing to paint Moore as the “good ole country boy.” The twang is working, the music rocks in the most country work possible, and the songwriting is on-point. Care he may not, but Moore’s carefree attitude pays off. Ballad “Hell On a Highway” is respectable, while the slightly quicker “Goodbye Back” is sound. Neither necessarily outshines the gems, but both are easily above average.
“You Look Like I Need a Drink”
“You Look Like I Need a Drink” locks down the superlative for most fun song. Rocking hard for a country cut, Moore showcases incredible attitude. The problem is, nothing about the record should be fun – Moore’s girl is about to break it off with him!
“You look like I need a drink right now / you look like you’re gonna try to let me down nice and easy / think I know why you won’t sit down / you’re just dancin’ around what you came here to do but you’re scared to / and all I can think, the way you’re lookin’ at me / you look like I need a drink”
On the brief “Somebody Else Will,” Moore packs a punch. Set in a minor key, the record has a darker feel. The verses embrace pop-soul cues while the chorus plays true to Moore’s country roots. Living up to the biggest moments, he showcases incredible vocal nuances, particularly the grit.
“Between You and Me”
“Between You and Me” adopts contemporary cues, more pronouncedly than the previous seven songs. While it’s a break from the traditionalist vibe, Moore doesn’t step too far over the edge. The countrified identity ultimately isn’t compromised, particularly as enters into that second gear. The easy-going “Got It Good” reinstates positivity, musically (major key) and thematically. The lighter country-pop touch is a welcome contrast.
“Rebel Kids” affirms Moore’s southern roots (as if he needed to). This isn’t new territory, but more obligatory to the country experience. Buddy Brantley Gilbert joins in on “More Middle Fingers,” the penultimate joint on the standard edition. Like fantastic collaboration “Small Town Throwdown,” these two work superbly together. “Life in the Livin’” concludes Kinda Don’t Care. Those who indulge can attain four more tracks on the deluxe edition – for a heftier sticker price of course.
All in all, Justin Moore hits the mark on Kinda Don’t Care. For the most part, he avoids the conformist trends of contemporary country music – at least the worst of the bunch. Keeping it traditional and gritty pays off. Kinda Don’t Care is consistently enjoyable.
Gems: “Robbin’ Trains,” “Kinda Don’t Care,” “You Look Like I Need a Drink,” “Somebody Else Will” & “Between You and Me”