Justin Moore songs are a mixed bag of country tough-guy anthems and sentimental ballads, but there’s nothing wrong with a man who can pull off both. This singer's small-town Arkansas upbringing plays prominently in his tunes, to which a large percentage of country audiences can relate — and his boyish charm doesn’t hurt.
Moore hit the scene in 2008 and has been steadily climbing since then, showing off his impressive vocal ability and charisma and earning himself a spot in the country music pros. His songs, many of which he co-writes, resonate with fans nationwide, and we've put together a list of what we think are his best.
"Home Sweet Home" ft. Vince NeilFrom Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe
In a fun departure from his usual style, Moore took on a rock classic as part of Big Machine’s Nashville Outlaws Mötley Crüe tribute album, released in 2014. Moore’s powerhouse vocals come in handy on "Home Sweet Home," the leadoff single from the record, in which the country artist teams up with the band’s lead singer Vince Neil for an epic collaboration. Moore’s strong pipes play well with the throwback style, making this song one of his 10 best. The Nashville Outlaws album reached No. 2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts.
"Back That Thing Up"From Justin Moore (2009)
"Back That Thing Up" may be the closest thing you’ll get to a bro-country tune with Moore, but his vocal talent and unique style make it work. It does have a bit of that country-rap flair, distorted guitars and some ladies in short shorts learning how to ‘farm’ in the music video, but it’s just the beginning of the Moore we come to know and love. The tune was released in 2008 and was his first single off his self-titled debut album. It wasn’t a Top 10 hit for the artist, but it introduced us to Moore and gave us a glimpse into what he could do.
"Backwoods"From Justin Moore (2009)
"Backwoods" is a tribute to the country way of life, and Moore is an expert, having been raised in a tiny town in rural Arkansas. The song’s country-rock twang is the perfect setting to celebrate the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality and blow off some steam drinking beer in the woods from the tailgates of jacked-up trucks. It’s an anthem for anyone who grew up in a small Southern town, and it sure resonated with them. "Backwoods" was Moore’s second Top 10 hit and the third single from his debut album.
"Point at You"From Off the Beaten Path (2013)
There’s something about a bad boy that draws in the good girls. Though Moore seems like a standup guy, he wants you to know he has a wilder side, too. "Point at You" is the proof. Whether it’s racing cars in a small town on a Friday night or throwing a few punches now and then, he might get into a bit of trouble, but the right woman can turn him into a softie. The catchy track is a lighthearted, slightly tongue-in-cheek depiction of a yin-and-yang relationship to which many women can relate. The leadoff single from his 2013 album Off the Beaten Path reached No. 2 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
"How I Got to Be This Way"From Justin Moore (2009)
While he does have more serious side, Moore likes to have fun with many of his tunes, and "How I Got to Be This Way" is one of the standouts. The anthemic ode to being young and reckless shares a list of mistakes the artist made over his quarter-century or so of life at the time, including being kicked in the face by a horse because he ran up too fast behind him. Ouch. Moore says at the end of the music video that all of the incidents in the song are true, but the lyrics conclude "that’s what it takes to make a man out of a kid." The song was released in 2010 as the fourth single from his self-titled album and earned a slot in the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country charts.
"Lettin' the Night Roll"From Off the Beaten Path (2013)
"Lettin’ the Night Roll" is a mid-tempo tune with a catchy guitar hook all about a spontaneous evening with a pretty lady. The melody and production show off Moore’s pop sensibility, but still maintains the country twang and backwoods elements we’ve come to expect from the artist. It was the second single off Moore’s 2013 album Off the Beaten Path and was a No. 1 hit.
"Bait a Hook"From Outlaws Like Me (2011)
"Bait a Hook" is not only a catchy tune, but it shows off Moore's sense of humor and likability. The second single off his 2011 album Outlaws Like Me runs down the list of differences between Moore and the new guy his former girl is dating — eating sushi, driving a Prius — your basic pretty-boy stuff. Moore says he’s not worried, though. He knows she’ll come back soon enough, because "he can’t even bait a hook." The accompanying video is a humorous depiction of the song and features Carl Edwards as the guy to whom Moore loses out. Even with all his sound arguments, Moore doesn’t get a second chance, but he did get a Top 20 hit out of it.
"If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away"From Outlaws Like Me (2011)
In this tune, Moore manages to put into words what so many of us feel when we lose a loved one. The somber, but sweet song talks about visiting family and friends after they’re gone and what he would say to them. Originally recorded by Rhett Akins, "If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away" not only tells the story of the narrator's grandpa and the memories they had, but doesn’t leave out great artists like Hank Williams and Janice Joplin. The song was the leadoff single to Moore’s sophomore album Outlaws Like Me and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country charts.
"Til My Last Day"From Outlaws Like Me (2011)
Moore gets in touch with his sentimental side for "Til My Last Day," the third single from his 2011 album Outlaws Like Me. The mid-tempo ballad has a dash of pop blended into its country style and explores the sentiment of someone without the best reputation, willing to do anything for the one he loves, 'til the day he dies. His sincere delivery and powerful vocals made this song a No. 1 hit on the country airplay charts and a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It's No. 2 on Taste of Country's Top 10 Justin Moore songs list.
"Small Town USA"From Justin Moore (2009)
Moore’s first No. 1 hit was a laid-back ode to a simple kind of life. The second single from his self-titled debut album in 2009, "Small Town USA" pays homage to Moore’s hometown in Arkansas after the singer moved to Nashville to pursue his career, but it also became an anthem for anyone who understands small town life. Knowing everyone (and their business), driving down dirt roads, hanging out with friends and making sure you’re in the pew on Sunday morning are all crucial pieces of the lifestyle, and Moore doesn’t leave anything out. Whether it’s Hank Jr. or "Sweet Home Alabama" on the radio, the most important piece is who you’re with. Country fans identified with the tune and made the then up-and-comer a bonafide star.