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Justin Moore

Justin Moore – 2009 (Valory Music)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Justin Moore

There are a lot of male singers out there today in country covering the same turf - Jason Aldean, Randy Houser and now Justin Moore among others. Their music may be steeped in country at some level, but the direction that they follow is far more rooted in rock.

Arkansas native Moore has a few quality songs among the 10, but he never succeeds in carving out his own niche.

Moore falls victim to the host of other would be country poseurs who try to invoke the names of the forefathers in the belief that merely saying the same is good enough for inclusion in the same breath. When Moore sings "Hank It," he is playing rock with a bit of a country vibe, but chances are quite strong that Hank would not have done it this way. David Allan Coe's name is cited in the hit single, title track. Moore bears nothing to the music of the rugged Coe. However, the mention of Sweet Home Alabama sounds way more on target. He also covers the same tried-and-true pleas for the little man (Good Ole American Way) with the jingoist line "I still believe in the good old American way," but folks like Alan Jackson have done it way more effectively. Moore follows that up with I Could Kick Your Ass apparently showing his tough side.

The production by Moore's mentor, Jeremy Stover, sounds a bit too clean and perfect, doing little to separate himself from his compadres. The big sound predominates time and again along with a big voiced delivery. A little more subtlety on both counts (rapping on Back That Thing Up doesn't quite do it) would have gone a long way to making this a more idiosyncratic set of music.