Album Review: Kip Moore - “Slowheart”

One of the most unique artists in all of country music returns with a nuanced record that is singularly “Kip Moore.”

Quite simply, there’s nobody like Kip Moore in modern country music. There’s not another vocalist with the kind of voice Kip has or ones willing to travel the world to surf and skateboard and just get away from both other people and the career itself. He’s just a different, independent kind of dude and that independent spirit bleeds through on the engaging Slowheart. The music on Slowheart is where Kip Moore shows, well, his heart and emotions, stuff which doesn’t always come easy for the often intense and unique singer/songwriter. And, for the first time in his career, he has an album which has a couple of outside-written tracks. Opener “Plead The Fifth” and “The Bull” are both outside songs but from potent pens. The former has a rollicking 80s-like melody and was written by Luke Dick and Josh Kear while Luke Dick also co-wrote the latter with Jon Randall. “The Bull” also has an interesting melody but an even better lyric which is about being thankful for the path you have in life, including the downs with the ups.

“Just Another Girl” rocks and rolls like a lost Allman Brothers jam where Kip opens up about a relationship (or lack there of) while “I’ve Been Around” feels like the kind of song which would be braggadocios in the hands of other artists but is simply just a statement of anecdotes from Kip Moore’s life set to music and it’s an engaging statement about a travelin’ man. “Sunburn” tells another ripped from life kind of song, a classic Petty-ish story and it’s one that is vivid in detail and intensity while “More Girls Like You” (written by the same writing team of Kip Moore, David Garcia, Josh Miller and Steven Lee Olsen). "More Girls Like You," the hit lead single from Slowheart, is Kip’s first Top 10 hit since “Hey Pretty Girl” hit #2 in 2013, a span of four long years. It feels like the first of a string of hits to come in the future from Slowheart. “Blonde,” yet another song from this collective of co-writers, tells an interesting story of a girl who has lost her way in life.

If there was a sure bet for potential hits on Slowheart, surely “Last Shot” has to be one of them. It’s a mid-tempo, lyrical story with a sing-a-long ready chorus. “Bittersweet Company” has a strong rock n roll melody and pairs well with “Last Shot” (with a mid-tempo groove to it) and it tells a story of a relationship that has gone bad while closer “Guitar Man” is moody in atmosphere and for fans looking for those moments where Kip sings the melody like a long lost Van Morrison song, well, that’s exactly what it feels like.

As stated in the open, there isn’t an artist like Kip Moore in all of modern country music and that’s precisely why he has a place within it. He isn’t a “me too” artist. He’s as moody as the melodies and storytelling found on Slowheart but he’s a singular kind of artist that makes those qualities endearing and worthy of coming back to again and again.

(4 Stars).