Taking the time to make the best record you can make. Not every artist can get away with doing that, especially in the “here today, gone tomorrow” mentality of today’s entertainment consumers. But that’s exactly what Justin Moore did when he set about choosing the 16 songs which make up the deluxe edition of his fourth album, Kinda Don’t Care. The album — released by The Valory Music Co. — is a diverse collection of songs where Justin finally gets to showcase the powerful voice he’s always had but didn’t always get to show off (well, not until recording the Motley Crue song “Home Sweet Home” in 2014). “You Look Like I Need A Drink” was this album’s lead single and it feels like a classic Justin Moore song, mixing some southern rock charm in the vocal with a twangy telecasters. Lyrically the song is about a guy who realizes his relationship is about to end. It’s a nice lead single and also a nice bridge song between past work and what is present on Kinda Don’t Care, a record which has Justin adding a little bit of modern country touches with drum loops and electronic beats on some of the songs.
One of the songs with the programming is “Put Me In A Box,” a song which has an anthemic melody mixing with lyrics of a man who is head over heels in love a woman he just met. It may be a clever pick up line for some but unlike Brad Paisley’s “Ticks,” it stays charming instead of corny. It also allows Justin to build to the apex of the final chorus where his voice soars over shredding Skynyrd-like guitars. “Hell On A Highway” mixes U2-like guitars as Justin sings about the end of a relationship and the fact that he messed up to end it (she’s out there putting my heart through “hell on a highway.”) while “Goodbye Back” is an ear worm of a radio-ready tune which has modern touches without using too much autotune or programmed production (though the vocal production is different for Justin).
With an 80s pop/rock melody, “Somebody Else Will” is definitely a new vibe for Justin Moore but it’s also a really strong song selection. “Between You And Me” has a bit of a dubstep style of music behind a sensual lyric from writers CJ Solar, Smith Ahnquist and Pavel Dovgaluk. This is a song where Justin Moore is really able to show off vocally as it’s a loud production and he needs to be able to sing over it, as he does expertly. “Got It Good” also feels some outside of country hallmarks and the mileage of this song will all vary depending on your taste in country, pop and soul music.
The title track ("Kinda Don't Care") is attitude-filled traditional country shuffle and is the kind of thing fans probably expected this album to be filled with. It could be big hit and does sound great with it’s steel guitar fills and twangy lead guitar. “Rebel Kids” fits in well with “Kinda Don’t Care” as a “Justin Moore” song while “More Middle Fingers,” a duet with Brantley Gilbert, is exactly the kind of song you’d expect it to be, a song for blue collar folks.
The deluxe version of this record features four interesting songs in “Middle Class Money,” “Pick-Up Lines,” “Spending The Night” and “When I Get Home.” The first one, “Money,” has a little programming to it but it’s a classic Justin Moore kind of song while “Pick Up Lines,” “Spending The Night” and “When I Get Home,” particularly the latter one, where Justin really gets to showcase the power and range his voice has, something that he doesn’t always get to do.
The time spent to make Kinda Don’t Care was time well spent from my point of view. Yeah, there are some songs which seem different for a Justin Moore record but it’s not like he’s able to actually sing those songs. He’s spread his wings a little here and Kinda Don’t Care is all for the better because of that decision.