250 word album review: Justin Townes Earle – Kids in the Street

Justin Townes Earle - Kids in the Street

Stars4.5

Justin Townes Earle is finally back. After a very disappointing foray into the albums “Single Mothers” and “Absent Fathers” he returns to the artist that had been so interesting over the last decade. This album is the third part of that trilogy in many ways but is far superior than either of the other two releases.

Somehow Earle had been baited into slower singer/songwriter songs with few hooks and not a whole lot interesting about them so “Kids in the Street” is a breathe of fresh air. On “Champagne Corolla” he writes a classic car song about a not so classic car and it’s great, it stomps and drives making for a great lead single. On “Maybe A Moment” and “What’s She Crying For” his keeps it slow and lets his songwriting take the reins but the songs are very good and never fail to be interesting. On “15-25” he gets rowdy again and keeps the tempo of the record from becoming monotonous. He hits many of his influences that he spent whole records exploring in the past. He does some traditional folky blues on “Same Old Stagolee” that would make Taj Mahal proud and he adds some steel guitar to “What’s She Crying For” to give it a classic Hank Williams feel. There’s a little New Orleans sound with the added horns to “What’s Goin’ Wrong” and he ends the record on a slower note with “There Go A Fool,” a song that fits the sound of his last couple records perfectly.

Key Tracks: “Champagne Corolla” “Maybe A Moment” “15-25”

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