Music Review: Kip Moore “Wild Ones”

Kip Moore

Wild Ones (Deluxe Edition)

It’s been 3 years since Kip Moore’s debut album, Up All Night. His sophomore release was supposed to come out a while ago but (supposedly) after the reception to a the early singles released wasn’t great the decision was made to delay the release and retool it.

I don’t know exactly what the original version sounded like other than the two songs released, both of which I liked, but this album is pretty great. I don’t know if I would call it country. It isn’t even really what passes for country on the radio now. It’s more of a old school soft 80‘s easy listening classic rock like Don Henley, Bryan Adam’s Summer of 69 or John Cougar Mellencamp.

The music is sparse in the mix, even on the upbeat songs. It lets Moore’s husky voice be the center of attention. Vocals are my favorite part of any album. So, I love that about this one. Especially since his voice is extremely sexy with a confidence that shows he is fully aware of the effect he can have. All of the songs take full advantage of this. They invoke the smoky backroads of the South and the reckless nostalgia of youth.

You can buy Wild Ones pretty much anywhere cds or mp3s are sold. So…..go buy it…..or read my song breakdown below. Then go buy it.

Song Breakdown:

Wild Ones:

A southern-back-road-drinking-under-a-full-moon-while-riding-dirt-roads song that brings a nostalgic smile to your lips.

Come and Get It:

Continues the same nostalgia feel but with a sexy love song making out in the back seat vibe instead of the drinking party feel of Wild Ones.

Girl of the Summer:

This song rings so strongly of Boys of Summer that it has to be intentional. The inspiration isn’t vague. It has the same eerie background instrumentation and the sexy lyrics that feel drenched in summer sunshine and bittersweet puppy love.

Magic:

One of my favorite songs on the album. A little hint of Elvis Costello and a twinkly bouncy chorus.

That Was Us:

The whole album screams nostalgia, high school flashbacks but this song is the one that spells out the beer soaked, sweat stained Southern nights of being 17 and riding around in cars because there isn’t much else to do.

Lipstick:

A “I’ll go anywhere for you” song that is full of imagery and has a flowy, wavy sound that keeps the summer nights driving backroads feel of the album.

What Ya Got On Tonight:

In continuing the them from the last song it’s another  I miss you, I want you song. This time invoking an image of the modern habit of texting selfies to out of town boyfriend or girlfriends. The song makes it sound sweet and innocent. The whole album plays to the more innocent side of love and lust, even when talking about things that aren’t so innocent.

Heart’s Desire:

Vivid imagery again but this time of love lost. This one has a definite Springsteen feel to it. The low key music and husky vocals make me think of I’m on Fire (my favorite Springsteen song). It isn’t as slow and low key as they song but their are still echoes of similarity.

Complicated:

This album tells a sort of rough etched story and this song is the relationship enduring song. It talks about a relationship lasting through all the complications of life and how that is a good thing. It’s an upbeat song. It’s a positive message. Which you don’t exactly hear a lot in music.

I’m To Blame:

This is the first song to sound even remotely country. The guitars have a twang and the vocals show off his accent more than the other songs have. The content is a fun little song about all the things he does wrong. He sounds rather proud and accepting of his flaws. Which is….a thing…I guess. It isn’t a bad thing exactly and its a catchy song. It’s the shortest song on the album and it isn’t shocking that it was the first single.

That’s Alright With Me:

This one continues the twangy guitars but the overall tone is a bit more smoking a joint in the back of  a bar than the last one was. It’s more Steve Miller Band’s Joker than it is Willie Nelson or Alan Jackson or even Luke Bryan. It’s a lazy, laid back little anthem of ambivalence. It’s a hard song not to like.

Running For You:

I love the whole album but if I HAD to pick a weak point this would be it. It’s my least favorite song on the album. It’s still better than most songs on most album but as far as this album goes, this is my least favorite. It’s a love song of sorts. A break up song that isn’t bitter or angry. It’s a I’m-here-for-you-if-you-need-me song. Nothing really wrong with it. It’s a sweet song and I like break up songs that aren’t bitter. I just don’t like it as much as the other songs. *shrug*

Comeback Kid:

A piano backed song that does have a country flavor but a vague one. Again it invokes hints of Springsteen. A ballad that isn’t exactly a love song but sort of it. There is a theme of endurance to it, another song about being in a long term relationship and striving for a good life. It also even name checks Mellancamp, who was obviously an influence on this album.

What I Do:

Another song in the vein of that’s Alright with me and I’m to Blame. It’s a this-is-what-I-am song. Catchy and almost twangy but not quite. It could definitely be a single but probably won’t be since it’s so similar to I’m to Blame. It’s a bouncy song with vocals and guitar taking center stage, The instruments are a bit louder on this one than the rest of the album.

Backseat:

A slinky sexy song again invoking nights driving backroads. This time highlighting the first experiences with sex in the backseat of a car. The music is minimal and the vocals are strong. This may be best showcase of Moore’s voice on the entire album. It isn’t the strongest song lyrically but it is full of vivid imagery and highlights his voice pretty well.

Burn the Whole World Down:

Jack & Diane invoking jaunty song with choral backup vocals and twangy guitar. The song is about escaping your hometown which stays with in the theme of nostalgia the album has been thick with. It’s a pretty good end to a great album.

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