Is there a more underrated guy in mainstream country than Justin Moore?
Justin has nine #1 hits over a career that spans 13 years since the release of his first album. In the country music world, that’s some pretty good longevity – especially when he’s still cranking out heaters this far into his career.
I was listening to The Justin Moore Podcast recently and he was teasing that he’s going to have some new music coming soon.
But I still find myself going back to his last album on a pretty regular basis. And in my humble opinion, it’s one that never got the respect it deserved.
Late Nights and Longnecks came out in 2019, an admittedly strong year in the country music scene that saw Luke Combs and Jon Pardi release their sophomore albums, along with new projects from artists like Miranda Lambert, Midland and Maren Morris. And that’s not even mentioning the albums from the “non-mainstream” guys like Cody Jinks, Koe Wetzel and Tyler Childers.
So yeah, you get the point. It was a STACKED year.
But still, for my money, Late Nights and Longnecks was one of the best albums of the 2019 – and maybe one of the best of Justin’s career.
The album really showcased the range of not only Justin’s voice, but also the range of songs that he’s able to flawlessly tackle. I mean, just look at the singles and you get an idea of the wide spectrum of music on this one.
First was “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home,” a powerful tribute to the men and women who have died serving our country.
Then he followed that one up with the hard-partying “Why We Drink” (which, sitting here in 2021, seems even more fitting now that we have more reasons to drink than ever).
But then you get into the songs that didn’t make it as singles, and you get some of the best on the whole album. There’s the heartwarming tribute to his son in “That’s My Boy,” mixed with the tribute to breakups that happen at the “Airport Bar.” There are Friday night drinking songs like “Never Gonna Drink Again” and songs that compare his hard-partying dad to his churchgoing mother like “Jesus and Jack Daniels.”
This album just has it all.
My favorite song from the whole album, though, may be the soul-searching ballad “Someday I Gotta Quit.” Maybe it’s the mix of desperation and resignation in his voice as he acknowledges that he needs to give up his vices. Or maybe this one just hits a little too close to home some days. But whatever the reason, it’s one that I can’t stop going back to and something that I think everybody can relate to in their own way. Not to mention, Justin’s voice on this one is as good as it gets.
It doesn’t look like we’re going to be getting any more singles from Late Nights and Longnecks, since Justin already dropped the new single from his as-of-yet unannounced next album with “We Didn’t Have Much.”
But that doesn’t mean that I’m done with Late Nights and Longnecks either. Because for me, it’s still a go-to album, and probably will be for a long time to come.