When I think of country music, I don’t think of Kip Moore.
And before anyone gets their underpants in a wad, it’s a compliment and not a slap in the face.
He’s just not country to me.
I grew up on Hank Williams (Sr and Jr), Waylon, Willie, George and the likes of Kenny, Dolly, George Straight, Alabama, Garth Brooks and the such. There’s a feeling or sound they all fit into be it “outlaw country” or country. You hear it, and you know it’s country.
Kip just doesn’t fit into the country mold even if he wrote hit songs about a “truck” and “beer money”.
What makes Kip unique is his writing.
Kip’s writing is never “the churn and burn, you hear what’s coming lyrics”. Luke Bryan has probably made a decent amount of money doing this. He’s like the Nickelback of country. He’s found a formula and knows how to add or subtract to make radio love him and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. They’re consistent and like Pavlov’s pups, audience and mainstream radio will eat that shit up. But sustaining this formula can’t be nurturing to the artistic soul.
While not formulaic, Kip is consistent in his writing by always writing something a little different. A little hard hitting and always inspiring. From his first album to his most recent album, with each listen, you can hear and feel the molds of his song writing breaking and shifting, ever evolving.
If Luke Bryan is the Nickelback of country, then Kip Moore is the Bruce Springsteen of country.
And I do not take comparing people to Mr Springsteen lightly.
Aside from the ditzy “Motorcycle” (sorry, this is the only song of Kip’s I am not a fan of) from his debut album, Up All Night, Kip Moore has been writing lyrics for the souls of human no matter what color their collars are.
He manages to open a vein to let out the blood, sweat, tears, fears of life but also the love, joys, and small things that make life grand. With each album Kip has given his fans gut wrenching, knee dropping, fist raising music and his writing unfolds exponentially with each album he crafts, and this holds true for the damn near perfect album Wild World (release 2020).
This February, fans will get a deluxe version of Wild World that features 4 more songs:
* the absolute banger, “Don’t Go Changing”
* “Midnight Slow Dance” (I am assuming it will be a recorded version of this fan favorite)
* “Man’s Gotta Do”
* and the just released “How High”
Which is why this entire post was started!
As soon as the bass and drum start, I know this song is going to a jam.
(I know I am also biased.)
But I am not disappointed at all.
The song is not only a jam, it’s a solid rocker of a tune.
The essence of Kip’s writing and music is what makes it rock and so far removed from country for me. Lump it into country if you must, but you’ll be disappointed if you expect twang and heartbreak over beer each and every song because that’s not what he is or who he is.
“How High” is a journey. A lyrical paintbrush, stroking the canvas of emotional fortitude.
It is a song that hugs you and leaves you wanting so much more, so you hit repeat and listen to it again and again.
Artwork courtesy of twitter.com/KipMooreMusic