What a ride it’s been for Kip Moore over the last few years. After the release of his debut album, Up All Night, Kip has faced a myriad of battles with his label and failed singles spanning a lengthily three and half years. Don’t get me wrong, I think ‘Dirt Road’ was the best song of 2014, (read why here) but if the radio isn’t playing it, I understand why the label is hesitant to release a full record. After scrapping an entire album and starting from scratch, Kip Moore’s Wild Ones, is here and the result is phenomenal.
If you know us at Whiskey Riff, you know we are die-hards. The anticipation from this album manifested itself over years with daily searches for crappy cellphone YouTube videos of new songs, speculation about which cuts would make the album, and the countless rescheduling of release dates. However, when you finally hold this record in your hands, you can sense the blood, sweat and tears that went into creating it and that is what truly connects you with the artist.
The album’s rock-inspired vibe is refreshing compared to the cookie-cutter production currently reigning in Nashville. Overly auto-tuned vocals, highly produced and polished up tracks, and Nashville session player dominance are not to be found here. It almost sounds like they took an hour and a half and recorded the whole album in a room in one take. It’s raw and gritty, full of heartache and passion.
The title track Wild Ones is a bass line heavy weekend anthem that builds into an intense chorus. The track’s energy is the perfect way to set the tone for the entire album. Kip and his fans march to the beat of their own drums. Those drums are the ones in this track.
Girl Of The Summer is another one of my favorites of the album. It’s a nostalgic tune about something we’ve all experienced and try to capture. Summer love. Those lightning in a bottle moments that we know are fleeting but try to hang on to. The imagery of this track is the shining star:
“Just last week saw a black jeep passing me by. Could have sworn it was your dark hair blowing out the passenger side. I did a double take, couldn’t catch my breath, Felt just like a wrecking ball that hit me in the chest.”
If you grew up with that ride-or-die type of chick in your friend group, or maybe you were that girl, then That Was Us will hit home. At its heart, it’s about young people growing up and raising hell, but the last verse takes a heavy turn that will knock you on your ass when Kip starts belting out the chorus. Chills.
Lipstick is a guitar driven tune and a long-distance love song detailing all the places Kip has been over the years. I absolutely love the rocking guitar riff a power vocals.
Current single, I’m To Blame, That’s Alright With Me, and bonus track What I Do all speak to the person of Kip Moore. Whether his stubborn personality, commitment to making quality music or what kind of beer he likes, he’s going to tell you what he thinks. That’s just what he does and if you do or don’t like it, then that’s alright with him.
Finally, one of the most diverse tracks on the album is What You Got On Tonight. Reminiscent of an 80’s pop-rock song like ‘Footloose’ or ‘Boys Of Summer,’ this track has some great synth sounds. You are guaranteed to be shaking your ass to this track. It seems entirely new and very familiar all at the same time.
“I bet you’re wearin’ that ball cap, Top Gun Ray Bans. Lookin’ like a star from the 1980’s, Tell me honey, how did I become your man.”
All in all, we live in a world of radio singles. It’s absolutely amazing to see an artist spend the time to perfect his craft and make a full album of quality music. On the deluxe version, there are 16 tracks of passion, heartache, love and desperation and you can bet your ass I don’t skip one. Kip’s refreshing sound and no-bullshit attitude is exactly what country music is lacking these days. Three and a half years was a helluva long time to wait, but it was worth every second. You don’t just listen to Kip Moore’s music, you feel it …. and this album feels truly amazing.