Lathan Moore - Love In Your Life

While mainstream country radio has been dominated by pop-leaning acts as of late, it does seem that the tide is switching back toward the traditionalist side of the ledger, which is Lathan Moore's comfort zone.  Is this record a hit?

First is the thumping "It's a Feel Thing," which uses its "slow smoky midnight groove" to describe the feeling between two lovers. In "Beautiful Girl," he doesn't have much in the way of material posessions, but he's got a beautiful girl (and presumably, a stereo and the best of Patsy Cline, spaghetti and a cheap bottle of wine), but the song is helped immensely by an enthusiastic performance. No doubt, this is the same woman who takes his "body and soul higher and higher" and burns with sweet angel fire on the song "Angel Fire." "You Can't Leave Me Like This" follows a rather obvious pattern: guy meets girl, girl kisses guy, girl moves off to start her life, guy doesn't want girl to leave, guy still pines for girl. Although it's a bit reminiscent of Rhett Akins' "She Said Yes," it still manages to shine. 

"Shot Down," a sonic cousin to Doug Stone's "A Jukebox with a Country Song," offers humorous vignettes of the male narrator trying to get a raise and trying to get a girl, but after getting shot down, he gets another shot down. Remember when every third song on the radio had a clever hook of that sort? Also keeping in the humorous vein is "I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good," where the narrator cheekily throws back the big ones when everyone else is getting bites only from mosquitoes — and then, he snags the sexy bartender whom all the other men are also ogling. 

"Cornfield Cadillac," co-written by former MCA recording artist Marty Brown, is one of the most inspired tracks on the album, taking a look at an old, rusty car on cinder blocks in a corn field, and how the narrator and his kid brother would play in it. That alone makes for a very interesting story-song, but it pays off in the unexpected revelation that the car in question has been restored and the narrator now drives it around. Lathan's voice drops down into a deeper register on the emphatic "Love in Your Life," which uses little scenes such as a newborn baby, a soldier returning home, neighbors helping a farmer, etc. to illustrate those moments when someone knows that he or she has love in his or her life. 

"That's the News" explores the news from a small-town home, as told by a mother (who's teaching vacation Bible school) and a father (who's trying to give up the cigarettes). It has a charming, folksy delivery and clever details of a typical small-town life. After it comes another angel song, the closing "Even Angels Have Bad Days," wherein the narrator reassures his girl (yep, gotta be the same one from "Angel Fire") that he's unfazed by the bad things she's said. I can't say that I've ever heard a song take that approach before. 

The whole album sounds like the radio just sudddenly tuned into summer 1993 during a particularly hot ten-song streak. If these songs existed back then, they no doubt would have been scooped up by someone: if not the then-A-listers like Mark Chesnutt, Sammy Kershaw, Clay Walker or Tracy Lawrence, then at least the equally talented B-listers like Pirates of the Mississippi (who would have been a great fit for "Shot Down") or Confederate Railroad (who could've taken "Cornfield Cadillac" or "I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good"). Even in 2010, the songs could easily find their way onto radio with their timeless themes.

You can support Lathan Moore by purchasing this album at Amazon | iTunes.