Down to Dixie: A review of Justin Moore’s “Off the Beaten Path”


Album cover from ABC News Radio Online

Honky Tonks, Dirt Roads, Redneck and Y’all aren’t the words that come to mind when I think of Staples High School, but are ever so prevalent in Justin Moore’s new album “Off the Beaten Path”. Being one of the few country artists who can credibly lay claim to the backwoods upbringing, Arkansas native, Moore keeps country music, well… country. The album is chock full of tunes about hunting, small towns, blue eyed girls, spending the night out, and the day after a night out- the way country music should be.

Although the music is lyrically rustic, what really ties the album together is the rowdy, throwback country melodies for which he is know. Moore is not an artist that was likely to follow the current country music trend of hip-hop influenced beats, and certainly does not stray from traditional with this album.

However, there is one song on the album that breaks Moore’s traditional style: Moore’s countrified version of “Baby Got Back,” titled “I’d Want It To Be Yours.”  I have a difficult time seeing eye to eye with this track, as it name drops Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian, and seems like more of a parody surrounding a female’s backside. The track is not as butt kickin’ as Moore intended and unfortunately, Moore took his hand off the chess piece by putting it on the tracklist, so there isn’t any way to take it back.

Despite my dislike for “I’d Want It To Be Yours,” I am the first to jump on the bandwagon for Moore’s summer hit single ‘Point At You.’’ While the song currently sits at number 15 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, I’d be willing to bet it will not be the only one in the Top 20 off this album.

If Moore’s twangy tone isn’t enough to fully satisfy your lyrical taste buds, he goes whole hog with some of the greatest country vocals of today’s generation as well as vintage bluegrass. Duetting with Miranda Lambert on his track ‘Old Habits’ and Charlie Daniels with ‘For Some Ol’ Redneck Reason’ he hits opposite ends of the spectrum- and it’s pure genius.

So whether you’re, as Moore puts it in his title track, “Off the beaten path with country rock crankin’ through speakers,” driving through the streets of New York City at rush hour or on your way to Staples at 7:00 on a Monday morning, Moore’s album is an album worth turning up.