Justin Moore creates a modern classic with the tune ‘Old Habits’ from his Off the Beaten Path CD. ‘Habits’ evokes some of the classic duets from country. It has the slow pacing, the lament of a lost love, and two great singers; Moore and Miranda Lambert. Like many a great country song, there is no redeeming twist at the end. This is one where no amount of words can accurately convey the feeling of the song. You just need to hear it for yourself.
Along the lines of another classic is ‘Some Old Redneck Reason.’ This is another duet. ‘Reason’ is more of a duet in modern terms since it has two country male singers trading off the verses. Moore sings the song with Charlie Daniels. The song is about loving country views and loving country. Daniels’s part most exemplifies the song’s theme:
I was standing beside a group of teenage kids/
at a high school football game/
They didn’t take their hats off/
when the anthem was played/
and I felt like jerking a knot in their tales for/
disrespecting that old red white and blue
Moore gets even more modern with the title track. ‘Off the Beaten Path’ brings a touch of hip-hop infusion into country which we are seeing more of with other artists. ‘Path’ works much better than some others that I have heard lately. Moore has managed to keep enough the rocking part of country in this tune, which fuses much better with rhythym of the lyrics.
The rest of the album provides a good listening experience for ya. There’s variety here from rocking tunes to touching ballads. ‘This Kind of Town’ is worth a mention as it falls into the same kind of genre as Moore’s hit ‘Smalltown USA’ without sounding like a retread. ‘Point at You’ is another song that provides some good humor about how your better half is your better half.
If they want to see my sweet side/
My soft side/
My best side/
I just point at you
There’s gonna be a lot of boys out there and some girls, too, doing a lot of pointing.
The one song that I like and I don’t on the album is ‘I’d Want it To Be Yours.’ This is a song that sings the praises of your other half’s posterior.
It’s ain’t tiny/
I’m diggin’ that hiney…
…Hate to see you go
But I love to watch you leaving
The concept is good one, but the song contains cussing and a little more sexual overtones to it. I’m not so sure how I feel about the later. For the most part when Moore makes references around the subject matter its kinda cute, but the “wanna take a bite” in the bridge and chorus hook “If there’s anybody’s ass I’d kiss, I’d want it to be yours” goes a bit beyond what I think is gentlemanly. Ditto for the swearing.
There’s been a few songs that I have heard from country artists that have a cuss word in them: Trace Adkin’s ‘Rough and Ready’, Cheryl Crow’s ‘Steve McQueen’, Blake Shelton’s ‘Boys ‘Round Here.’ All these contain swearing that’s too casual for me. Swearing like that should be reserved for private company. I’ve got myself a backwoods mouth as well, but I choose to use it only with certain folks. I feel to do otherwise is crass and I would prefer that country music maintain some amount of class to it, which I feel is lost with casual cussing in choruses and lyrics.
The CD Booklet contains more of the press type photos than pictures that are based on the theme of the album. This does not bother me as much as when I’ve seen press photos used in other booklets. This is because the photos are so much in the forefront and look more though out and planned. Moore is doing some posing and modeling that looks a whole lot better than I’ve seen in some other press photo booklets. You could tell the photographer actually cared about getting good photos rather than just taking something to use on a press junket. The only disappointment I have with the photos is three out of the seven photos has Moore with his head down; eyes shielded by his hat in that coy way that we country boys do. It’s too bad, because in addition to Moore’s good music, part of his appeal is his good looks. Moore’s got himself a nice looking set of blue eyes, one’s that shouldn’t be covered up under a hat.