Ranking your favorite artists best albums feels like ranking your kids. Yes, you love them all and you tell people you love them all, but deep down everyone knows you love one more than the other. To be fair to “Kinda Don’t Care” I would rather listen to that one repeat than any album by Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, or Eric Church, which is saying a lot. However not every album is created equal, and not everyone has the same purpose. As a result they all have different themes, sounds, and just overall music. With all that being said, here are the Justin Moore albums rankings.
5. Kinda Don’t Care
It’s hard to say that I didn’t like a Justin Moore album, but “Kinda Don’t Care” is the closest to that I can get. It features by far my least favorite Justin Moore song, “Put Me In a Box,” and many poppy songs. Moore was going through a rough patch in his career before releasing this record. Someone in his record label made a bad decision to have him release “Home Sweet Home” as his single, a song that was part of a Montley Crue tribute album with other various artists. The song didn’t do very well, and peaked somewhere in the twenties. They then went back to a song off “Off the Beaten Path” after releasing two singles prior to “Home Sweet Home” off the album. It created an awkward lack of momentum for “This Kinda Town” which wasn’t a bad song, but it seemed destined to die high on the charts.
The label took a little break after “Kinda Town” topped off from releasing new music, but finally “You Look Like I Need a Drink,” dropped, and started a revival to Moore’s career. Despite the album doing its purpose of revitalizing some momentum for Moore, this album missed the mark to his true fans. “Somebody Else Will” is a number one hit that is probably Moore’s most pop single, and songs like “Between You and Me” are similar. Songs like “Kinda Don’t Care,” “Hell on a Highway,” “More Middle Fingers,” and “Pickup Lines” save the album, though, and make it worth listening to. When I saw Justin Moore during the “Don’t Care” era of his career, it was only a few months after it was released, and he was very down on the record. It makes it very hard to like something that the creator himself isn’t proud of. The album definitely served its purpose, but it is an experiment that I can’t see Moore ever coming close to again.
4. Justin Moore
Moore’s debut album from way back in 2009, Justin Moore got off to a great start in his career. The self-titled album featured “Small Town USA” Moore’s first number 1 and “Backwoods,” one of my favorite bonfire jam songs. The album goes for all of the emotions, ranging from “I Could Kick Your Ass,” a song that features Moore, who is only 5’7″ fighting a guy for trying to steal his girl, to “Grandpa,” a song about how he looks up to his grandpa and everything that he does. If I didn’t have to put numbers next to the albums, the first three would be 1A, 1B, and 1C, with this album being 2.
Overall, I liked this album, but I felt that his music got a little better as Moore grew up and matured. Songs that hurt the album include Moore’s debut single “Back That Thing Up” which felt so cheesy that I don’t even think a bro country artist would record it. A common theme of being proud of where he is from shines thorugh in the album with, “How I Got to Be This Way”, “Small Town USA”, “Good Ole American Way” and “The Only Place That I Call Home” all referencing this. Much like “Kinda Don’t Care” this album served its purpose. It got Moore’s career off the ground, and produced a few quality songs as well.
3. Off the Beaten Path
An album that a lot of people didn’t like as much, this was my introduction to Justin Moore. A more guitar-heavy follow-up to “Outlaws Like Me,” this album featured the hit songs “Point at You” and “Lettin the Night Roll.” It did have the Moore put another super tacky song “I’d Want It to Be Yours,” on it, which is probably the lowest point of the album. On the other hand the album also had “For Some Ol’ Redneck Reason,” featuring Charlie Daniels, a fantastic song.
The album hits a lot on my kind of music, rock country songs that I can jam to instead of slower stuff. However for all the heavy guitar, it has a few songs that slow the album don’t. “One Dirt Road” and the previously mentioned “This Kind of Town” are two examples of this. This album got done a little bit dirty being interrupted by “Home Sweet Home” and I think that poor decision will always linger when thinking about this album. However overall it is a solid record.
2. Outlaws Like Me
His sophomore album, Justin Moore, hit this record really hard and had some smash songs. The song features my all-time all-genre favorite song, “Bait a Hook,” which I wrote this article about. It also has hit “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” “Til My Last Day,” plus songs Moore still does live to this day like “Flyin’ Down a Back Road” and “Bed of My Chevy.” I think if you were to ask Moore what his favorite album ever was, “Outlaws Like Me” would be the one.
I don’t want to spoil the number one record, but I think that Moore was listening to this album on repeat when writing that one. The biggest danger of this album in my opinion is that it seems like it was such a high for Moore, that he is always going to try to top it. While this is a high point in his career, I hope that he realizes that he shouldn’t try to top it, because some of the success he had with it can’t be topped. I think his best move would be to match the success, and although I’m not sure how the numbers shake out, he did that on the final album on the list.
1. Late Nights and Longnecks
Coming off the heels of “Kinda Don’t Care,” Justin Moore essentially decided that he was happy with all of his past success and wanted to make an album he was truly proud of hell or highwater. Something tells me that he realized he sold out a little bit and realized he would rather make a good product than chase success with tacky money grab songs. I saw him in concert during the “Don’t Care” phase of his career. He essentially said that he hated the album and wanted to make a 90’s country album. He did just that on “Late Night and Longnecks,” a fantastic album that mixes his southern rock influences with Alan Jackson and George Strait’s sounds. The album was way too short, with only ten songs and 34 minutes, but he put ten great songs on an album instead of a more extended album with a few filler songs.
Honestly though, go through the album and tell me where the weak spot is. I think the “critics” would point to “Small Town Street Cred” but in my opinion that is a song that you love if you lived it. I don’t usually likes songs such as “My Boy” because I don’t have kids, but even that song I love. The album produced two number one hits, and if Moore’s music charted as fast as Luke Bryans, I think the majority of the songs on the album could’ve been radio hits. He has teased that his next album featuring “We Didn’t Have Much” will be even better, so we will see.