Album Review: Justin Townes Earle’s Kids in the Street
Justin Townes Earle is the son of legendary folk/country singer Steve Earle. While the Earle name is synonymous with folk, the younger Earle has a lot of work to do.
Justin Earle recently released his eighth studio album this past May. Titled "Kids in the Street," this album tries to come off as a bluesy, country and some parts folky resurgence type album.I'm not quite sure what I was expecting. Having listened to him very little in the past, maybe something that would intrigue me. The album has several bright spots, but overall lacks anything of substance that would make me love this album.
When you think soul is powering blues, generally Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Percy Sledge come to mind. That is one big thing this album lacks. Earle's voice alone is very monotone and hard to listen to as the album wears on. It's hard to get the powerful sense of emotion from this album.With the aforementioned classic blues singers, hearing their passion is easy, and it's even easier to take in and heed the message they are trying to portray. This album has a hard time doing that.
As I mentioned, there are several bright spots. It comes fairly early on in the second track. "Maybe a moment." This song captures the moment we all feel. The wantonness to get out of town. The needing to leave your current life, and if for just one moment, Escape.The album does have instrumental breakdown moments that have been beautifully composed. In "15-25" the groove of the song easily outweighs the message of the lyrics. It features several moments of pure blues and country dancing filled with the doo-wop era of 50's pop. Definitely a song that doesn't fit the bill for the rest of the album.Overall the album is good for those that don't dive too deep in the lyrics of songs. The themes are old and used up and don't offer a fresh approach to such themes. With that being said, the composing is beautifully done and worth listening to.