Justin Moore, ‘Outlaws Like Me’ – Album Review
Justin Moore tells Taste of Country the goal for his second album was to make a more old-school country project than his self-titled debut was. There is no doubt he succeeds in making ‘Outlaws Like Me’ just that. The album — available in stores and at digital retailers today, June 21 — features songs he thought men with names like Hank, George and Alan would be proud of him for recording.
It’s hard to criticize someone for staying true to who he is, but in satisfying his goal Moore doesn’t leave much for fans that preferred the southern rock stylings on his debut album. If ‘How I Got To Be This Way’ was your favorite song from that self-titled project, you may consider previewing the 13 songs on iTunes before purchasing.
Otherwise, ‘Outlaws Like Me’ is as good of an old-school country album as a 27-year-old can come up with in the 21st century. Five songs in the middle of the album are good ol’ fashioned, hold-nothing-back redneck. ‘Guns’ is the most abrasive, but even those not aligned with his political views on gun control can overlook this song and appreciate his humor in ‘Bait a Hook,’ and his hopelessness in ‘Run Out of Honky Tonks.’
The best moments are those that march to the same beat as ‘Small Town USA’ and ‘If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.’ There are no fewer than four of these songs, none better than ”Til My Last Day.’ “People say I’m just a rough boy / I ain’t no good for you, girl / It’s a dead-end street trying to love me / Yeah I’ll wreck your world / I can see why they’re all talkin’ / Lookin’ back at my past / I’ve got a bad name but a man can change / I’m livin’ proof of that,” he sings.
Moore says that’s his wife’s favorite song, and one senses he was once that good-for-nothin’ country boy that others had given up on. The title track, ‘Outlaws Like Me,’ takes a similar tone and is almost as effective.
Pointing out the flaws in the project would be a little nitpicky. There are a few lyrics that feel rushed, and there will be probably be three songs that listeners will skip. Which songs those are, however, will change from ear to ear. There isn’t a song amongst the 13 that will go homeless.
Watch Justin Moore Perform ‘If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away’