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Album Spotlight: Justin Moore, ‘Off the Beaten Path’

Off the Beaten Path
Valory Music Co.

The songwriting is sharper and Justin Moore‘s focus more clear on his new album ‘Off the Beaten Path.’ It’s an album that will definitively brand the ‘Point at You’ singer as a traditionalist, but that’s not to say he plays it entirely safe. 

Two rowdy cuts longing for yesteryear’s values bookend the 11 songs on the standard edition (a deluxe edition contains 16 tracks). While the message in both is similar, they don’t come across as redundant. Charlie Daniels adds vocals and fiddle to ‘For Some Ol’ Redneck Reason,’ a refreshing pairing of two artists with similar values. ‘Old Back in the New School’ sets the tempo with a Bakersfield beat and a message about respect and loyalty — easy fits for Moore.

The other collaboration is ‘Old Habits’ with Miranda Lambert, a heartbreaking ballad that describes the emptiness in the house when a relationship ends. Fans will appreciate the pairing, but with Lambert’s duet with Keith Urban currently on the radio, it’s difficult to imagine it becoming a single.

Moore tells Taste of Country that his favorite track is ‘That’s How I Know You Love Me.’ This soulful love song is as slow of a ballad as he’s released, but it may also be his most honest. The songs that sound like love letters to his wife Kate have begun to perform better than his others in recent years. He’s not afraid to get personal, and does so again on ‘One Dirt Road,’ his soon-to-be-released second single from ‘Off the Beaten Path.’

Tracks to Remember: ‘Old Habits,’ ‘That’s How I Know You Love Me,’ ‘For Some Ol Redneck Reason’

Taking Chances: Fans may raise eyebrows upon hearing the title track. So did Moore. He says he was nervous about the song, but, “To be completely honest, the radio don’t sound like it did five years ago when I got into this business.”

He adds, “I can love that or hate that, it really doesn’t matter. Nobody is asking for my opinion. But it’s my job to give the record label music that can get played on the radio.”

Bootylicious: ‘I’d Want It to Be Yours’ is a breezy country song about women with big behinds. If you’re keeping track, that’s Moore’s second butt cut in three albums, following his debut single ‘Back That Thing Up.’ Is Moore a butt man, we asked? You bet!

Did You Know?: Shortly after having his first daughter, Ella, Moore and his wife moved back home to Arkansas to be closer to family. Many songs on ‘Off the Beaten Path’ — as well as previous albums — are a reflection or tribute to family members, including ‘One Dirt Road,’ which he says reminds him of his grandmother.

Next: See the Best Albums of 2013 So Far

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