Music review: Justin Moore - ‘Late Nights and Longnecks’

The title of Justin Moore’s fifth studio album tells you everything you need to know about the stirring country set.

Co-written by Moore, the album’s 10 tracks tell stories of faith, family, heartbreak and plenty of drinking.

“Why We Drink” serves as the rousing opener that kicks off the festivities by going through an extensive list of reasons why to

have a cold one while declaring it's alcohol abuse if you pour one down the sink.

Opposites attract and surprisingly make for good parents on “Jesus and Jack Daniels.” Moore sings about how mama shared the faith and daddy taught the tough life lessons that needed to be heard to survive and how finding the right balance between the two made for a great upbringing.

Family is the focus on the touching “That’s My Boy.” It’s all about the feeling of satisfaction that comes when you realize your son is a chip off the old block as Moore proclaims, “That’s my heart/That’s my soul/That’s my last name/That’s a love like I've never known.”

Things get emotional on “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home.” The album’s lead single is a heavy hitter that quickly puts things in perspective by honoring the memory of all the soldiers that sacrificed everything for God and country as the Arkansas native sings, “Here's to the ones that didn't make it back home/The ones we ain't seen in so long/The hold up a beer ones/The wish they were here ones/The not forgotten but gone.”

Unrealistic promises are offered up on “Never Gonna Drink Again” and “Someday I Gotta Quit.” When you’ve lost your job, girl and dog, a little solace can be found at the neighborhood honky-tonk. After continuous late nights spent with close friends Jim Beam and Jack Daniels, the cycle of masking the pain with alcohol and a pack of smokes remains unbroken.

“Good Times Don’t” brings the set to a happier close. It’s a great summer track with a nostalgic theme about enjoying the simple pleasures in life with Moore announcing, “The world spins around, the kids get grown/But they still turn it up when Hank comes on/Yeah, times change but good times don’t.”

Perhaps Moore best captures the raise-a-glass sentiment of the new release when he sings, “To good friends, good times, you and me/To the red, white and blue boys and girls overseas.”

Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at clinton43@me.com.

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