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Justin Moore

Kinda Don't Care – 2016 (Valory Music)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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The title track on Justin Moore's "Kinda Don't Care" album is so good it almost makes you wish the rest of the tracks were this fine. But they're not. Nevertheless, the song's Waylon Jennings thump-thump groove, its steel guitar-electric guitar interplay and lyric about how a broken heart can tempt even a good man to give into available vices - all on account of induced apathy - transforms it into one memorable country song.

Although "Goodbye Back" gives in too much to modern production elements, its lyric about romantic regret is effectively moving. "Hell On a Highway" similarly suffers from modernist sonic overload, but its female character - with her mind made up - is convincing. Moore makes these songs work, in spite of themselves, because he can't help but sing with an authentic country voice. For the same reason Tim McGraw can take chances - even singing a duet with a rapper - and still please, is solely due to a down home, twangy voice. More often than not, this is these men's saving grace.

Moore is more convincing on love songs than he is when playing the rebel kind, as it's impossible to imagine the diminutive performer robbing trains like Jessie James, which he dreams of doing during "Robbin' Trains." It's also below him to get borderline profane for "More Middle Fingers," a dumb, intentionally politically incorrect duet with the more believably ruff 'n' tuff Brantley Gilbert.

With "Kinda Don't Care," Justin Moore has toned down some of the rock-isms of his early recordings. But he's replaced much of this approach with pop touches that nearly spoil some of this full-length's better inclusions. However, he can't ever cover up that sincere voice of his, which will always keep us coming back for more Moore.