Then his latest album came out, and oh boy is it hard to talk about. For country purists or country music bloggers who grade with consideration of genre, this was an easy album to bash. After all, Justin essentially ditched the twang and the country instrumentation to go full on pop. For others like me who don’t want to get into the genre debate as much, well…it was refreshing to hear him drop a lot of the outlaw pandering bullshit, but one the other hand, it was so big of a change that just didn’t fit well with Justin at all. That’s probably the reason I never covered it myself.
Thankfully his newest single (the title track off of Kinda Don’t Care) is more in line with the few songs that actually sounded like Justin Moore such as “You Look Like I Need A Drink”, “Robbin’ Trains”, and….uh….wow I guess that’s it.
Jokes aside, I have to give credit to Justin for this song. It’s a smart take on a familiar subject in country music. Unlike past songs of his such as “Backwoods”, “Beer Time” or all of the other horrible cliché fests, this track actually doesn’t center so much on trying to live the outlaw way. In fact, the narrator here has apparently been a good boy. He’s been watching his weight, going to church, and doing other things to ensure that he lives on the right path. The song’s chorus sees him wanting to indulge in the pleasures from which he’s kept himself such as drinking and smoking and other things of this nature. He’s going to as well, since tonight he kind of doesn’t care anymore. There’s a reference to a heartbreak that may have set all of this off as well. Yeah, it’s not the most original song in the world, and truth be told a better writer may have been able to come at this with a little more humor or wit. However, I like the angle the song plays. He’s aware of the dangers these things he enjoys will cause him, and he’s just doing it to blow off some steam from a breakup. It’s coming from a more mature, understandable position. The line about wanting to find a pretty little thing raises a red flag, but in all honesty it’s kind of a fun song.
Well, it’s a fun song on paper that is. My biggest criticism for this track is that Justin sort of comes across a little monotone in his delivery here. Sure, that just may be the frustration building up inside of him from holding off on his enjoyment, but I can’t help but feel as if there could have been a little more energy put into the overall performance.
The instrumentation and production is really where this song gets enjoyable however. In essence, it’s actually got a, dare I say it, outlaw bedrock complete with some old school, choppy electric guitar, nice bass groove, and definitely some nice pedal steel play. In other words, it’s the kind of song Justin has always wanted to make and finally actually has. The song remains good throughout, but I’m willing to give it some extra credit for the extended electric guitar/pedal steel outro. Again, it provides a moment of fun that I just wish was evident in the overall delivery.
One of my favorite things to do as a reviewer is giving credit where its due, and as I’ve stated before, Justin earns it here. The song is one of those songs that’s simple in what it’s going for, and yet it’s highly effective in its execution. It sort of feels weird praising a song that feels the closest to what Justin has been trying to be for so damn long on an album that couldn’t have seen him stray further from himself, but that’s why I’m reviewing this particular song. It works well, and while I do think the writing could have been sharper, this is definitely one of the better songs on the radio right now.
Listen: "Kinda Don't Care"
Author: Zackary Kephart