Jun
30

Album Review – Justin Moore’s “Outlaws Like Me”

June 30, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  86 Comments

(“Outlaws Like Me” Debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Country chart)

Before this album even came out, it’s bellicose title was begging for controversy. As Music Row tries to figure out how to financially benefit from growing dissension against the infusion of pop into the country genre, this “new Outlaw” marketing scheme has popped up to re-brand otherwise pop country stars. But never before with such boldness.

When I stated my concerns about the perversion of the “Outlaw” term, I said specifically about Justin Moore: “I’ll be honest. From what I have heard from Justin Moore’s music, the guy can sing, and at first glance, I don’t find his music as offensive as some of the other ‘new Outlaws’”.

I also promised that I would give this album an objective, honest review. And beyond that, I want to like Justin Moore, regardless of the “Outlaw” terminology. Yes, I’m sure there is a tendency in some independent/underground country fans to not like music simply because it is popular. I do not possess that disposition. I want the good artists to get popular, and I want the popular artists to get good.

But unfortunately, Justin Moore is not good, and neither is Outlaws Like Me. Those previous positive statements I made about Justin? Well it looks like I need to back pedal pretty hard from them, because this album is awful. In my opinion, and I appreciate the gravity and the certitude of what I’m about to say, but in my opinion, Outlaws Like Me is the worst country music album I have ever heard, EVER. Worse than Taylor Swift, worse than Trace Adkins, even worse than Billy Ray Cyrus.

Folks who frequent this site know I have lots of venom for “laundry list” country songs that employ a cavalcade of easily-recognizable things that can be attributed to country living: ice cold beers, cornbread, tractors, dirt roads, etc. These songs are used to 1) Create country cred for an otherwise very urbanized pop country star. 2) Appeal to the suburban demographic who want to live vicariously through the corporate country culture. Usually there will be 1 or 2 of these songs on any given Music Row-produced country album. But Justin Moore has the audacity, the boldness to make an entire record of them, and even worse, make them the most stultifying, stereotyping, unapologetically formulaic songs that have ever been published for mass consumption.

I can’t even believe this album exists. Literally, when listening to it, I had to double check to make sure the whole thing wasn’t a joke. Without making any changes to the music, you could repackage this into a parody album, and it would fly. And not only fly, it would be a damn good one, because it’s almost like Justin and his cabal of songwriters were meticulous to the point of obsession in creating the most debilitatingly formulaic album ever, almost to where you could listen to it strictly for the comedic value. I am astonished.

I was out on the first track “Redneck Side”  at 00:25 when he mentioned a “cold beer.” Ironically, the second song “My Kind of Woman” mentions an “ice cold Bud” only 14 seconds in, and is built on guitar riffs dripping with Black Crowes DNA. “Beer Time” is the worst cliche, laundry list song of all time, all time I tell you. It is the worst country song ever, on the worst country album ever. “Bait a Hook”, just like “Redneck Side”, panders to the anti- “high fallutin’” crowd to build pride in the corporate country identity by feigning judgement by others. “Flyin’ Down A Back Road” is a song created solely as a vehicle for name dropping.

Ironically “If You Don’t Like My Twang” doesn’t have any. They tried to re-create it with Stratocasters, and I think I can hear the ghost of a steel guitar that was edited out of the mix. But the worst song of all is “Guns”, which tries to out Arron Lewis, Aaron Lewis. Look at this line:

“If there ever was a time we need ‘em, I’d say it’d be today. When we’re lettin’ those terrorists watch cable TV and walk out of Guantanamo Bay”

If you are a gun owner or a patriot, you should find this song the most revolting insult to your ideals and way of life. You are more likely to die by getting hit on the head with falling fruit than a terrorist attack in a small town. I’ll have more to say on this song on its inevitable release as a single.

I actually liked “Outlaws Like Me” from the video I saw before this release, but by the time you get to the 13th track, it just comes across as self-indulgent. Who calls themselves an Outlaw? Not even Waylon Jennings did that. And who says “God bless me”?

Look, if you like this album, then don’t let my harsh comments sway you, and I mean that. The first rule of art appreciation is that if you like it, that’s all that matters. Chalk up my opinions as the ramblings of an arrogant blowhard. But understand my thoughts are 100% honest.

And to be fair, I will mention the few things I jotted down that I liked about the album. I liked the music specifically of “Flyin’ Down A Back Road”. I also thought of all the harsh things I said about the album, the songs “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away”, “Run Out of Honky Tonks”, and “Till My Last Day”, though very cliche and not good songs overall, stood apart as not being as objectionable as the others.

I’ll also say that I think Justin Moore has something. I think he is a good singer, and probably an overall good guy. I think this is a classic Music Row story. Just like politicians who go to Washington truly wanting to make a difference, and within the first few months get sucked into the machine, young singers like Justin come to Nashville with good intentions. But in this case, the country music anti-Christ Scott Borchetta got in his ear, and told him if they pulled the right strings, he could be a superstar. And Justin has little kids, and probably wants to set them up financially, but any money made on this album is tainted. There’s no purity, no truth. Justin Moore went to the crossroads and sold his soul for world riches, and it worked. But at what cost?

Two guns way down.


86 Comments to “Album Review – Justin Moore’s “Outlaws Like Me””

  • wow. and wow.
    anything i say can and would be used against me.
    including commenting at all.
    i’ve said it before, i’ll sy it again…the closer we get to the bottom, the closer we are to seeing a recovery in quality.
    that is not a refelection of this artist..i have not and likely never will hear this record..it’s only a comment on where you see this record. apparently for you, we’ve hit bottom.

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  • That is the most stone-shattering review I’ve ever read. Downside is that it makes me want to hear the album to experience this crap in all its anti-glory. I didn’t think “Honkytonk Bedonkydonk” could be topped for pure disgust, while at the same time being somewhat “catchy”.

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    • The thing is, even with Trace Adkins and “Badonka Donk”, at least he did the whole thing with a grin on his face. It wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. It was a funny catchy song, and his albums are usually balanced with love songs and such. This is a merciless parade of formulaic laundry list songs.

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      • Tigger, not to stir things up, and maybe you didn’t realize this or do it on purpose, but…
        99.9% of other mentions you have made on Bodonkadonk, you have been certain to remind us it is a horrid song that started a downfall and that Jamey Johnson penned the number.

        However, in this reply, in an attempt to defend your review of Moore’s album (which I agree with), all of a sudden you are blowing off Bodonkadonk as a “comedic” song and as Trace Adkins tune. Almost as if you took that stance all along, which is not the case.

        It is a comedic take on an urban slang term. It was written by Johnson with a grin on his face. Trace could do nothing else but deliver it with a grin.

        I wait with high anticipation a review from you on Willie’s 4th Picnic-fest.
        It is right in your back yard, on your turf. And a collection of all the country worlds.
        You will have country icon(s) in Willie, Ray Price, DAC, etc…(who knows who might show)
        You will have some underground/ non-mainstreamers in Brent Cobb, Adam Hood, etc…
        You will have Nashville types like Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Brantley Gilbert
        And then you will have the lighting rod himself, and your first Jamey Johnson show in the middle of it all.

        We could say we will see how it used to be done (Willie), how it shouldn’t be done (Lee Brice), how it could be done (Brent Cobb) and how if it is the real deal (Jamey Johnson).

        Looking forward to it.

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        • I was making a comparison based on the worst songs and artists of all time. I still think it is a stupid, and regrettable song. I have also made the observation that it was written in satire in the past, and that people need to get over the song and move on. And none of this has to do with Jamey Johnson.

          The Willie picnic is not in my backyard. It is over 4 hours away, and I happen to be driving through the area at the time.

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  • This guy’s playing at my local county fair in a few months. I was curious about him, but after reading this I think I’ll pass.

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    • after reading this you should go! have anice cold beer and a good laugh…..

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  • You know, just from perusing the song titles, it looked pretty bleak. But wow.

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  • @”I’ll also say that I think Justin Moore has something. I think he is a good singer, and probably an overall good guy. I think this is a classic Music Row story. Just like politicians who go to Washington truly wanting to make a difference, and within the first few months get sucked into the machine, young singers like Justin come to Nashville with good intentions. But in this case, the country music anti-Christ Scott Borchetta got in his ear, and told him if they pulled the right strings, he could be a superstar.”

    Truth.

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  • I use to love this site, untill i realized you bash everything that is new or mainstream. If Hank III was a mainstream hit….you would rip him apart, you’d say “wow, who sings about drugs? and whats up with the whole devil thing? wow he is just runnin of his daddy and grandaddy’s name”

    The worst country album ever? No. Not even close HOSS.

    and im pretty sure Waylon Did call himself an outlaw. “ladies love outlaws” WANTED: THE OUTLAWS. or Dave Coe “in texas the talked turned out outlaws…like willie, waylon and me”

    How about this Triggerman, atleast Justin Moore is writing his own music, he is a real dude from Arkansas.

    Hell, if it wasnt for Billy Joe Shaver, Waylon’s only hit would be “are you sure hank done it this way”

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    • Waylon’s hatred for the Outlaw term is well documented. It’s not even worth discussing. And I love Billy Joe Shaver, but you better watch short-selling Waylon’s career, contributions, and songwriting. You may want to start your research with a song he wrote, “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit Done Got Outta Hand”. Then get back to me.

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      • no. I know all I need to know about waylon and the rest “dont you think this outlaw business done got outta hand” I already know. it happened during the recording of the New South album down in alabama with Bocephus.

        I just dont see how you can dislike the album that much. Its things that people like myself can relate with. “hat turned backwords, flyin down a backroad, cj7 headin for the swimmin hole” yes..its simple but it works.

        Dont think im all about this new country. I hate jason aldean, he better thank god for Branley Gilbert, I hate Kenny Chesney. All of ‘em. But Justin Moore is good in my book.

        and trust me, I love waymore(i heard he hated being called that to, i get it) I’v bought things off of 3bay, and im goin to the muddy roots restival. Im into all that.

        come on up to tennessee and talk with us folk and there is plenty of people that can relate to Justin’s songs “run out of honky tonks” come on man..thats good stuff…just admit it.

        I sure can relate more to that than Hank III singing about drugs and what knot

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        • “hat turned backwords, flyin down a backroad, cj7 headin for the swimmin hole”

          Well yeah, but when at least one out of every two songs you record are about that sort of thing, it sorta makes you look like a one-trick pony with no musical depth.

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        • “hat turned backwords, flyin down a backroad, cj7 headin for the swimmin hole”

          Holy shit. What a tool, lol. Mainstream country has manufactured you, man. I’ve seen it happen all too often where people listen to a country radio station and start attempting to live the music. You are a product of Nashville, congrats.

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          • Its not living mainstream nashville, its how country folk live. I dont know if thats how you do but people don’t listen to a song and say im going to adapt my life to be just like that! We like this music because it relates to our lives. I cant believe all the bashing on this site anyways! Country living is simple. And its how we like it. Obviously if somebody is going to sing about it in every sonh on his CD. Don’t bash a life style if you dont like it. Let us live our story and listen to it thru good singers.

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      • this is encouraging to see an article like that on CMT. I am sad to see this from Moore. I was hoping he would pull something off.

        Trigger, curious, I know you don’t reivew mainstream stuff much, but Ronnie Dunn’s solo album is pretty darn good. Obviously Dunn isn’t a new up and comer, but I think it is encouraging that he put out an album that I wouldn’t consider pop-country, nor “Toy Outlaw” (love that term in the CMT link) Ronnie almost has an Orbison feel to his album.
        I hope it connects with some of the mass audience and they see the difference between an album like Moore’s and better music like Dunn’s.

        For the millionith time…. REAL Outlaws don’t need to announce it and call themselves outlaws. See Waylon, Willie, Hank Jr., Hank III, Jamey Johnson.

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      • “You know, there is a reason dirt roads get paved. Dirt roads are nothing but dust nuisances in hot weather, and then they turn into mud lollies that are sometimes dangerous when it rains. They’re also good for miring down misguided toy outlaws who’re gunning their shiny new Ford F-150 pickups down that romantic dirt road while drinking beer and high-fiving each other and busy being all rednecky until they fail to notice the muddy mess they’re suddenly skidding into.”

        So fucking true. I sincerely hope some nashville songwriters get this message.

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        • thats why i have a F350 setting on a 6 inch lift and 38s :)

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          • Sounds like you are compensating for something…

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          • Ya, compensating for the dirt roads smart ass.

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      • Another point to this…
        Not every song an artist sings has to mirror their life word for word. I think we all can appreciate that. But when an artist starts to sing every song that insinuates they live a certain life style, but they clearly don’t, that is when you go from artist to puppet.

        Sure, if Moore or a guy like Aldean don’t live their songs word for word, fine. Few artists do. Hank was one, and it killed him. But to put out every song, every image, every aspect of you as “outlaw” or whatever, and then you’re not. That is where people can get annoyed. I could handle the “outlaws like me” tune, but then you hit me with the same shit 10 more times. I get it.

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    • Sounds to me like you don’t know much about Waylon.

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      • Meaning Chris, not you Trig.

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  • Justin Moore. Aaron Watson. Jason Boland. Turnpike Troubadors. Casey Donahew.

    Those are some newer folk that I think are great.

    But im as hard on newer acts than anybody. The very thought of Toby Kieth and them boys make me sick and make my blood boil.

    worst country album ever. You full of shit, why is it wrong to talk bout some “names” that he was been with. that was one song. If u wanna go down that road then god damn…that wouldnt be many people left that u’d like would there?

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    • I would definitely not put Jason Boland or the Turnpike Troubadours anywhere near the same category as Jason Boland.

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      • EDIT! I meant anywhere near the same category as Justin Moore.

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        • I don’t have any problem with Jason Boland or the Turnpike Troubadours. I am not as familiar with Casey Donahew or Aaron Watson, but they have never done anything to draw my ire.

          Just because I do not mention an artist on here, does not mean I am against them, or do not support them. I’m only one person, and only have so much time to write.

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          • You know, I heard Justin Moore’s “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” (I guess that’s what it’s called) song on the local pop country station, and for once, I was actually very moved by a song I heard on there, and for once, something they played actually sounded close to my beloved country music. So moved was I, that I figured I would check out Mr. Moore’s album soon as I got a chance. I really don’t listen to much music or seek it out, as I am a musician myself and stay busy writing and playing music, so usually, if I happen upon something new it’s something a friend pushes my way or some band I get the good fortune of seeing perform. After reading your review, though, I don’t think I want to get anywhere near such a formulaic pile of shit.

            By the way: Most of those Texas artists listed above are incredible, kick-ass real ARTISTS. Jason Boland has only gotten better with age and the Turnpike Troubadours are a kickass live band with some great songs. Aaron Watson has a million-dollar voice, but Casey Donahew is not in the same league as any of those guys. He’s our version down here in Texas of a Nashvegas pop star; just a pretty boy with a lot of $$ behind him writing music for high-schoolers.

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    • Same goes for Aaron Watson. You dishonor their names grouping them together with Justin Moore.

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    • Justin Moore. Aaron Watson. Jason Boland. Turnpike Troubadors. Casey Donahew.

      One of these names is not like the others. One of these names just doesn’t belong.

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      • xD thank you, sir, for making my day

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    • ahhh… Jason Boland isn’t a “newer” act. He’s been around a decade plus.

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    • I agree Chris.Although I’m not a huge fan of Justin,I think it’s a ridiculus review and there are far worse things coming out of mainstream Nashville.Although I don’t and more than likely won’t ever own anything by him,I can at least tolerate hearing him when I’m forced to listen to a mainstream top 40 station.Same with Chris Young and Easton Corbin.I don’t get how a web site that says they are dedicated to saving country music cuts anyone down who is at least TRYING to sound country through Nashville.Nit pick em to death.But yet Hank III could do a Britney Spears covers album and they would love it lol

      I also like Jason Boland,have for years,as well as Turnpike TRub’s,Stony Larue etc.Casey is alright,but I’ve always found them to be a watered down version of Cross Canadian Ragweed.And no,I have never seen ANY of them featured on here.If they were,I’m sure the web master would cut them down and call them all “over-rated” as he did Hayes Carll.Also the new Cody Canada and The Departed tribute album to Oklahoma artists you won’t find on here either.Overrated too probably.So’s all the great artist they covered…To each their own I guess!

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      • Like I’ve said many times, what I try to do is cover the bands that are getting NO press coverage FIRST. Just because you do see a band mentioned on here, doesn’t mean I am against them. In a perfect world, I would be covering bands like the Turnpike Troubadours, but there’s only so much time in the day, and I will always cover the uncovered bands first.

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  • I am almost surprised you didn’t say anything about “Backwoods.” If that song didn’t merit any discussion as one of the album’s absolute worst, said album must have been pretty bad, indeed.

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    • I’m not seeing a “Backwoods” song on the tracklist.

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      • Oh, don’t I feel silly now. That’s because Google just told me that song was apparently on his eponymous first album. Shows you how much attention I pay to modern mainstream Nashville hacks and the radio that plays them, I guess. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9mUH1JltbA

        (Holy shit, that album was successful enough that he gets to make another one? From what I heard of that first album it was every bit as bad for all the same reasons you say this one is. The apocalypse is nigh! Run to the hills, run for your lives!)

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  • Damn Trig…I don’t know whether to love ya or hate ya. I may have went my whole life without ever hearing about this guy before I read your review. I don’t see how you (or anyone for that matter) can say this guy can even sing good. His voice/accent seems fake as hell to me. Disgusting!

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    • Really? Justin Moore’s accent is fake? He grew up in Poyen Arkansas, I’ve been down to Arkansas and the big cities down to the small towns, they all have a thick southern accent. Justin is a TRUE country singer and has every damn right to call himself an outlaw. You think he repeats himself in every song he sings? Taylor swift can’t stop writing songs about every single “crush” she had, every one of her songs deals with an ex. Justin songs about the country way of life. Obviously you guys aren’t country or you would understand. You are so bias that just because you don’t understand something you diss it and bad talk it all the time. Justin does live the way he sings. He writes his own songs unlike half the other country artists out there. He is a true country singer and he doesn’t care if you sit here and talk shit about him. You go and work on a farm, get off your ass and out of your apartment and truly understand what country feels like. Then you can understand his lyrics.

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  • Looks like Chet Flippo at CMT agrees with ya somewhat.

    http://www.cmt.com/news/nashville-skyline/1666703/nashville-skyline-so-is-justin-moore-really-an-outlaw-time-for-a-reality-check.jhtml?rsspartner=rssYahoo

    I personally don’t mind his music. I haven’t heard the new album yet but I did enjoy his first album.

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    • Haha, nice! My love/hate relationship with Chet Flippo continues, but it’s on love this time!

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  • I have to say that after reading this scathing review I was thoroughly intrigued. What could possibly have warranted such a musician shattering cryin in my beer review as this? THIS ALBUM thats what! I had a hard time simply making it through the sample song list for this album. I kept thinking to myself, “number 1??” is this REAL?? The fact that such a sterotypical assault on music could have made it that far in the charts speaks volumes about the state of mainstream country music. The best thing I could say about these songs, is that there is nothing even remotely unique about any of them. The worst I could say is that playing them out loud on my laptop caused me to physically grimace and wonder why in the hell I even bother to stay so absorbed in music at all. This entire album is pathetic at best, and presents itself as a laughing stock to true country musicians everywhere. R.I.P. Outlaws Like Me

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  • Triggerman,I’ve completly dropped the “O” word from anything associated with my music thanks to your continued enlightenment. Although I do have a song called New Outlaw wich has nothing to do whatsoever with the musical term,it is about the new way of life my ppl in Appalachia tend to lean toward nowdays; post moonshine type outlaws if you will.
    Anyways, you keep on lighting up that torch so we can all see what’s actually out there!
    Thanks again,SH

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  • I won’t be listening, so I guess I won’t be exposed. I prefer true country. True feel good music. And true, make ya think music.

    Great blog Triggerman.

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  • The widget thing wasn’t playing for me to sample this album. So I typed Justin Moore into google. What song came up? The song “Back That Thing Up”. I said “Oh no! He’s that guy!?” Yup, my search for “Outlaws Like Me” ended right there.

    I’m going to take your word on this one Triggerman, and avoid it like the plague.

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  • I caught the “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” video the other day. I was surprised at how pop it sounded given that everything I’ve heard about him mentions how “real” he is. Still, it wasn’t a bad song.

    If you want to check out an album from the other end of the spectrum, you should listen to Eilen Jewell’s new one, Queen of the Minor Key. Possibly NPR music, but still damn good.

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    • That was one of the songs I found much less offensive than the others. Not horrible, but fairly innocuous and formulaic all the same.

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      • What’s even worse is that “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” was released 4 years ago by Rhett Akins- and that one didn’t even chart. So let’s please make it known that the one song that’s made it from this album was just a copycat production.

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  • I’m with you all the way Trigger. And Chet gets two big thumbs up on that article too!

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  • The 3rd highest Country debut this year, beating first week numbers from many superstar artists, including recent releases from Ronnie Dunn and Sara Evans.

    Outpaced this year by only Brad Paisley’s This Is Country Music and Alison Krauss and Union Station’s Paper Airplane, this impressive debut further underscores Justin Moore’s status as one of the hottest artists in country music

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    • Ronnie Dunn’s album is very good. A hell of a lot better than this one. But Ronnie isn’t 20something, pretty boy looks, and singing about how country he is and you should be.

      I would say a artists labeled as “hot new country star” would be the last f-ing thing you want. Because that means you got 14min. left on the clock of fame.

      I will equate this toy outlaw movement to that which brought me to better music when I was young.
      I heard country on the radio and liked it. But then I learned of Hank Sr., Ernest Tubb, Merle, Waylon, Willie, etc… and was knocked out of my chair.

      I think the toy outlaws will gather fans, but only to motivate them to learn about others. If Moore says he is like Waylon, and some kid looks into Waylon, he sure as hell is going to see Moore is full of shit, and he is going to become a Waylon fan. And maybe that kid will start a band playing Waylon type music. Then gather a following, then get a big record deal, and then that music is back in the for front.
      Long long journey, but that is the circle.

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      • Congratulations, super optimist, for finding some goodness in a pile of shit! :D

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  • This review is awesome. I love it when Triggerman writes one of his off his rocker fired-up reviews. hah.

    It will be hard to top it but I’m sure Nashville will pump out something even worse before to long.. They are fully and 100% capable as we know :-P

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  • Sorry trigg but what he sings about is not whats wrong its the people who try to be what hes singing about even though they never will be. I was born country and raised country i was raised around what he sings about and ill be damned if one of yall mother fuckers try to say ima fucking product of nashville im a product of the south

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  • Well I just listened to this thing and it’s so bad it’s actually good in the same way “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is good.

    I’m still trying to understand how people in the 21st century can sound more like hillbillies than ACTUAL hillbillies did in the 1920′s….these accents are a total put-on just like this comically bad music. If Wierd Al did a country album it would sound like this.

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  • UGH! Terrible. But.. Like I say.. there is a seat for every ass in this world.

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  • Hahahaha! LOVE IT. Listening to all those samples of all those tracks it just made me laugh. They’re all annoyingly catchy even though they are complete crapola. Not that I’d want to spend any money acquiring it, but I do think this would be the perfect soundtrack for a white trash themed party. I can just see the mullets now. Yeeee haw!
    PS No offense to any readers who have mullets. I like a good example of a ‘business in the front, party out the back’ do.

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  • Hey Trigger,

    Agree with you 100 percent on this album, but have you checked out the Youtube comments under the song “Guns?” They’ll give you a nice, succinct idea for why this type of country music is produced, with some good ole’ ignorance and racism thrown into the mix. Apparently, lots of people don’t mind living as horrendous stereotypes, or at least imagining they embody those stereotypes. Albums like this piece of junk give country music a bad name and leave a bad taste in my ears.

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  • By the way, place the Moore disc alongside to the new Gillian Welch album, a roots masterpiece that your average FM playing, outlaw-wannabe likely won’t ever touch, and that’s a shame.

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  • Well first off just to let you know for every “pop country station/top 40 country station” they usually have a sister station of “classical country” so keep it tuned there and you won’t have to hear any of nashville’s new music. Personally I have very mixed reviews on justin’s cd. And yes I can call him by his first name because I have known him since before he left for Nashville. I have over 60 of his demos and if his “twang” is a put on well he started it in the 10th grade and it’s the best act ever! I completely agree that at times he beats a dead horse but he writes these songs because it’s all he has known, these songs are true to him and what how he was raised and how he lives. He doesn’t get a playlist of 100 songs and picks out the “cookie cutter” country songs! So love him or hate him he is going to continue to write his music and sing his music in his voice and if you don’t like it don’t listen because he is hear to stay. 2 albums already one number 1 hit, 3 top 5 and every song he has released has hit top 30. I have yet to hear one song where he compares himself to Hank, Walyon or Willie. He praises these pioneers of country not imitates them. Try actually listening to the words instead of jumping on the hate bandwagon! Actually he never has mentioned Willie or Waylon only Hank and why because he actually toured with Hank just to further prove my point he writes out his life in his songs! Love him or hate him he could give a rats ass, he was spoor farmers son growing up and noe has more money and a btr life for all his children then any of y’all could ever dream of. So move your jealousy aside.

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    • That’s a good, important distinction. Justin does not compare himself directly to the legends like someone like Eric Church does.

      I think your characterization that there’s a classic country station for every Top 40 one is pretty off though. Maybe in some markets, but probably not in most.

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  • If you are tired of the mainstream providing what passes for country music these days, don’t look toward the mainstream anymore. Discover what is out there on your own, love it and support it so it can continue. I photographed a Justin Moore show a couple years ago and it was one of the few negative reviews i have written. Granted i am not a music critic but i called him a poser back then, least he has stayed the course. I am happy to see people mentioning guys like Jason Boland & the Stragglers, i’m biased toward them and most of the Texas and Oklahoma musicians, i did the photos on their High in the Rockies live album, check out Band of Heathens, Bleu Edmondson, Chris Knight, Jackson Taylor, Jason Eady, Josh Abbott band, Matt Wayne, Matt King, Reckless Kelly, Stoney LaRue and Randy Rogers. There is so much variety is out there waiting that only receives regional airplay. Kevin Fowler has songs that mention beer, bait & ammo but at least there is that little bit of mystery left of is it all an act or is he really like that and it’s not meant to be taken seriously.

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  • another pretty spot-on dissection of the album here.http://blog.newsok.com/bamsblog/2011/07/08/cd-review-justin-moore-%E2%80%9Coutlaws-like-me%E2%80%9D/

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  • mmm, mmm, mmm. your spot on about how ever “nashville outlaw” has to mention a cold beer in their songs. the nashville execs must have seen some sort of pattern in their focus groups. are tweens drinking beer nowdays? and don’t get me started on some of the dipshits i know, who won’t take the time to listen to a lucky tubb cd i burned um, but always asks if i’ve heard “that new song on the radio about cold beer”. so the fuck what. my grandma likes to have a cold beer once in a while and she is pushing 80. but in the nashville bubble cold beer is the edge that seperate the “outlaws” from the rest of the pack. mmm, mmm, mmm. all new albums from music row are just like dirty diapers…full of shit. at least your open minded enough to open that diaper up and take a big wiff of whats inside. nice job.

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  • Out of the few songs I’ve heard off this album,the only decent one is “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away”.I know its a little cliche,but it is an interesting concept.I also probably like it more because Rhett Akins was the one who penned it,not Justin.
    Justin does have a pretty decent voice,but as I’ve always said I would rather hear an average singer who puts his heart and soul in to it than a great singer who outs no feeling in to it.

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  • I agree with the review. I am a writer/producer, new in town on the music row scene. My passion is writing Soul and R&B, but I write country, pop as well. I knew the rules of music row were pretty bad before I moved here, but what I’ve seen now that I’m in the thick of it is almost too much to take in. Many involved in decisions here will strip a clever idea down and down until you are left with short cheesy sentences that have no life to them. I get a lot of influence from Elton John, Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder in my music. I have been told on numerous occasions by well respected people in the biz to try and get those influences out of my head because their writing style is not a great trait to have in today’s music, though their melodies were great. To me a good song is a good song, and constantly singing about beer and tractors does not hold up compared to “any” of Elton John or Van Morrison’s lyrics. If you love the cliche beer songs that’s fine, that’s your choice of entertainment. It just saddens me the vast number of super talent artists I have met in this town that the public will never hear of. Many with some of the most intriguing song ideas and melodies I have ever heard in my life.

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  • This is one of the best country albums i’ve ever listened to and i listen to it over and over again. I grew up in the country and lived a life style that alot of country folks live. I moved to the city and there is nothing near as good as going back home and ‘flyin down a back road’ with my buddies from back home. It beats the hell outta the rap music colt ford and jason aldean have on the radio that is ruining country music radio. I don’t go against new acts or famous artists and loved jason aldeans first few albums but theres a line when you become someones pawn in the music business. Justin moore writes his songs and the albums been in the top 25 on the billboard country albums for 32 weeks running now. Pretty damn good for a shitty album. This is a shitty review of an excellent album

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  • Do me a favor and listen to the song, ” If you don’t like my twang.” …

    I DON’T THINK HE GIVES A FUCK

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    • Lol.

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  • Just like you claim to be a country music reviewer, Justin Moore claims to be an Outlaw. He sings about the country lifestyle, which is done very truthfully I might add. The way of life out here is dirt roads, ice cold beer, and tractors. You should be trashing the real crap singers like rascal flats and taylor swift. Have a concept.

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    • Yeah, I’ve never bashed Taylor Swift or Rascal Flatts.

      Have a clue.

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      • ‘Im saying you should be bashing them. They sing about nothing and call it country.

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  • Alright “Triggerman.” I am a huge country fan and I found this sight this morning and have been reading through a lot of your website. I agree with you wholeheartedly on some things and disagree wholeheartedly on others. I’m gonna tell you right now I am a huge Justin Moore fan and absolutely love this album.

    I understand where you are coming and I respect your opinion. I understand that country music is not like it was in the 70s and 80s. And it never will. I think it is ridiculous, though, that you can categorize this music as “pop” country. I myself hate pop country. Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Lady A, etc. Turn that crap off. There is a huge difference between Justin Moore and those other “artists” if you will.

    I think you just categorize all of country radio into one category – “pop country.” You couldn’t be more wrong in my opinion.

    Here is where I am coming from. Justin Moore is as true as it gets when it comes to the kind of country I like. I absolutely love to hear songs about beer, trucks, and fishing. I listen to that shit all day. That is the stuff that “country” people listen to. You go to a farm in the midwest (I’m from Iowa) and you here nothin but Justin, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks. Gary Allan, Jamey Johnson, Craig Morgan, and Blake Shelton (who has definitely turned pop country as of lately.) I just don’t get how you can call some of these people “pop”.

    What I am saying is that to a lot of people “country” music is about drinking beer, your dog, your truck, and your fishing pole. Thats what we do so we like to listen to that. You shouldn’t call your website saving country music because it is not specific enough. What is country music? Are you saying that the genre country music should all be your texas, bluegrass, “outlaw” country kind of music?

    If so then a new genre should be created just for your liking, I guess. I do understand where you are coming from when Justin Moore calls himself an outlaw, as the term was coined by Coe, Willie, Waylon and those guys when they successfully made music outside of nashville. Justin isn’t an “outlaw” by those terms. But he is referring to it as a way of life.

    And as for all these “country” bands you like: Turnpike Troubadours, Justin Townes Earle, Jason Eady, etc. Their music reminds of of music like Donovan Frankenreiter, Mason Jennings, and Ben Harper kind of music. Which I’m not saying is bad but don’t call it real country!

    And I definitely agree with your opinion on Luke Bryan. I used to like him until his third album came out. Since then he has definitely turned into a “pop” country artist. But his music and Justin’s music are completely different. I actually went and saw Luke with my girlfriend a few months ago and I was disgusted by the show.

    And how dare you put down patriotic music like Toby Keith makes. You don’t have to be in the military to like the music. We are americans and should be proud.

    I just hope you can understand where I am coming from. Lay off on us beer drinkin, fishing hillbillies. What should this genre be called then? Hick Country? I would accept that. But never pop country. Never.

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    • What I find interesting about this comment is that Gary Allan has never sang about fishing poles, dogs, or trucks. He has said repeatedly that he will never sing about tractors or farms simply because thats something he knows nothing about. He grew up on real country music. Look back and see how many the current singers so-called heroes sang about the things people claim to make a country song. Country music is about the honesty and consequences in your life. Yes, there are songs about country living but they are honest…not like this barrage of “dirt road” and “look how country I am” songs. Tell me…what did Waylon and Johnny sing about? Dirt roads? Johnny Cash sure could have since he grew up poor picking cotton. No, they sang about their lives just like Gary Allan does. Putting Gary Allan in the category as Justin Moore is beyond my comprehension.

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  • The original Lynyrd Skynyrd band were “outlaws” and their music is a billion times better then any country garbage that has come out in the past 20 years. “Small Town U.S.A. I admit was pretty good.

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  • I know I’m late to the tailgate party on this thread, but to be honest, when I first heard/saw his videos I actually thought it truly *was* parody. I thought he was doing a musical Larry the Cable Guy.

    But then I thought it even funnier when I found out the whole thing was serious.

    Although, Doyle & Debbie he’s not…

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  • Hey triggerman and anyone else against this album, what do you think country music is supposed to be. This is closer to the best country music album in recent years. He is truly country, unlike like apparently you triggerman. If you have ever seen Justin Moore in concert or know anything about him, he is no writing these songs just to please people. As seen by the majority of songs not making it to the number one spot. His songs are written for real and true country music fans.

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  • It amazes me to read these articles sometimes & see how clueless some people are. Can someone please define “country” for me? I live a rural lifestyle & if “country” is defined by pop culture laundry list mindless top 40 songs about beer, tan legs, trucks with lift kits than I must be really confused. As I’ve said I live a rural lifestyle, I drive an SUV that I can actually afford to put gas in, I spend time growing my own food, playing my instruments, & you know reading books ( I point this out because intellectually sound minds simply can’t fall for these kinds of farces & fallacies), I’m a white girl so I’m pretty damn pale. Isn’t a rural lifestyle about simplicity? Aren’t expensive trucks, sound systems, fashion trends, fake & bake tans, & flip flop music contradictory to this? These mindless moronic laundry list songs infuriate me & make me feel embarrassed…for the “artists” that are releasing them. They annoy me because it’s a satire of the rural life I live. You will never hear this shit coming out of my SUV. Wake up sheeple, this is about culturally keeping country music alive for future generations. I definitely won’t be sitting on the front porch with my family 30 years from now with a few instruments singing Justin Moore songs with my Grandchildren. My two year old much prefers, “my bucket’s got a hole in it” (seriously she sings it all of the time). You know, the worst part about this whole trend is that these musicians are making false claims The “new outlaws”, name dropping artists who they show no reflection of, making tons of money endorsing brands while claiming to stand for the common man. I could much more respect these people for honesty. No wonder my generation & the little youngsters are so culturally confused. Commercial radio & television tells them that if they are country they should dance in a truck bed, on farm equipment, for birds, for fish, while drinking beer, showing off their tan legs, with Lil Wayne on their iPods, speaking in Ebonics, (no this is not a joke, all direct references to pop country songs).

    I think my (adorable) Grandfather who grew up on a peanut farm in South GA said it best, “these new hillbilly singers…some of em sing alright but they got it all wrong. If I woulda asked a gal to come out & dance on my Daddy’s tractor she woulda said ‘well hell no, I thought you was gunna take me to see a picture or to get a bite to eat.’ And all of these guitars they play em so loud & fast slingin em around & jumping up & down like they think they are rock musicians.”

    You know there are still country artists that believe in telling a good story & having something to say, they deserve radio play, noteriety, & to make a good living doing what they love, that’s what saving country music is about. Open your minds! Geezus! I know this is a ridiculously long rant but gahhhhh

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    • Fantastic! Nicely said! Country music nowadays is being made for teenagers so most of it is mindless party crap. When I was growing up (80′s and early 90′s) it wasn’t very cool to listen to country music but I loved it because it was more real than the sex, drugs, and rock n roll of well, rock music. Nowadays country IS about sex, drugs, and rock n roll with no consequences involved. Country has always evolved through every generation and I don’t mind that as long as the songs are real and honest. oh and I really miss fiddles on country radio…

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  • Also if people are confused about the kind of music that Triggerman & like minded people endorse there is a tab clearly marked, “radio” for you to listen to.

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  • In my opinion, Justin Moore is a great artist, and the “Outlaws Like Me” album is pretty good. But, I couldn’t help but point out that you said that not even Waylon Jennings referred to himself as an “outlaw”, though he technically did in the song “Outlaws Like Us” featuring Travis Tritt, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams Jr. The chorus goes, “They say countries changing, and we must all adjust. But I think there’s lot’s of room for old outlaws like us” with Waylon providing vocals.

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  • not even worth the time to put my two cents in on this blatantly stupid and biased review and ENTIRE WEBSITE. complete and utter bullshit.

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  • I always have to laugh when I see country artists referring to themselves as Outlaws.
    I grew up on a large farm in the country and most of the Outlaws were in the county
    jail. If he really thinks he does things his own way and therefore he is an Outlaw,
    he’s delusional. And this is coming from someone who like his music.

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  • …………..so Trigger, when can we expect you to drag “Off The Beaten Path” off the path and give it a good beating, wink wink? ;)

    *

    I’ll refrain from expressing a broader commentary on it here until a relevant discussion thread is opened, but it’s exactly more of the same, shallow, arrogant, sexist and hackneyed douchery I was expecting to hear, replete with a complete scarcity of self-awareness, an utter lack of joy, emotional range or excitement in Moore’s vocals, and intelligence-obliterating lyrics.

    Seriously……………when you mentioned that you had to backpedal pretty hard from past positive statements you made about Justin Moore? Well, prepare to ditch those petals. You’re going to need to be catapulted from a trebuchet away from them after listening to this abomination.

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