Kip Moore: ‘Damn Love’ Album Review
Kip Moore releases his new album, Damn Love, officially out now, April 28th on all streaming platforms. Learn more and listen to the new album below.
With arguably country music’s most unique and recognizable voice, Kip Moore is back with his fifth studio album, Damn Love. Throughout the project, the gravel-voiced singer-songwriter takes listeners on a journey through finding love as a traveling musician, enjoying the simpler things in life but yet unable to escape the trappings of the road.
Interestingly, Damn Love is less country-leaning than we’re used to from Moore, who experiments with 80’s synths, pop beats and Springsteen-esque rock hints throughout the LP. Produced by Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three, the new project allows Moore to shine through as a vocalist, the varied instrumentation always coming in second to the singer’s distinct growl and lyrical prowess.
“I’ve always had a nomadic spirit, at the core of me that’s what I am, and it’s a beautiful life I lead—I don’t take that for granted,” Moore says of the project. “But I still crave that companionship down deep in my DNA, and that’s where Damn Love comes from. There’s a reason love and relationships have been written about so much—and why they continue to get written about. Because at the core of us, that’s what we desire the most.”
On the follow up to 2020’s Wild World, the acclaimed singer-songwriter co-wrote 12 of the 13 tracks, the only exception being the title track. That doesn’t mean that the track is any less Moore, as it opens the album with a bang, offering a catchy ode to the crazy intricacies of love. It’s immediately clear that Moore’s voice is the star of the show here, as the production allows him to shine. Over twinkling pianos and a sing-songy melody, he proclaims: Oh, no you can’t tell it nothin’ // Oh, it’s that strong kinda somethin’ // For the bees, for the birds // No surprise, it’s a four letter word // It’ll heal, it’ll kill, it’ll hurt // I hope you’re tough Damn love.
There’s a lot of (damn) love on Damn Love, with songs like “The Guitar Slinger” and “Another Night in Knoxville” seeming especially poignant. On the latter, Moore focuses on life on the road and the juxtaposition between the man on and off the stage, ending poetically with a blistering guitar solo. Likewise, “Another Night in Knoxville” finds him falling in love from the stage, watching as someone strolls in and has a drink night after night, never staying for more than a song or two.
“Sometimes She Stays” is an immediate standout, a sparse ballad where Moore’s voice and the lyrics are the star. Here, the singer-songwriter finds himself longing for a one night stand to become much more. “But sometimes she stays, And asks you what you’re doing that day,” he muses. “And where you keep the coffee and an old sweatshirt, And all your walls start falling for her And one night turns into every day …[…] Cause sometimes she stays.”
Another immediate star here is “One Heartbeat,” which features Ashley McBryde. The song is perfect for the pair, their voices blending effortlessly on the smooth duet. This track further exemplifies why McBryde is one of the genre’s most sought after duet partners, her voice soaring aside Moore’s through the chorus.
While most of the songs focus on love in different stages, there’s also the raucous and jubilant celebration of a favorite haunt in “Kinda Bar.” While this tune is a celebration of time spent there, the album’s closer, “Micky’s Bar,” takes a different approach. Here, Moore shares the stories of all the lonely and broken regulars who spend their time at Micky’s, a stark and powerful contrast to “Kinda Bar.”
On the earwormy “Some Things” and the guitar ballad, “Mr. Simple,” Moore celebrates those simple things in life that make it great. “Been around long enough to know,” He proclaims. “Some things don’t ever get old.”
“Heart on Fire” is a catchy moment with a toe-tapping melody, while “Peace and Love” is the most 80’s inspired track on the record, synth-infused beats and melodic keyboards celebrating the person who brings Moore the most peace in this crazy world. “Neon Blue” also allows the Georgia native to stretch himself vocally, showing a different side to his voice with an almost theatrical flair.
On Damn Love, Kip Moore experiments with different sounds, both vocally and musically as he tells the story of love and a country music man. It allows him to stretch himself as an artist while remaining true to what makes him unique, and Damn Love is indeed damn good.
Damn Love Track List:
- Damn Love (Jason Gantt, Jaren Johnston, James McNair)
- Kinda Bar (Kip Moore, Dan Couch)
- Neon Blue (Kip Moore, Dan Couch, Jaren Johnston)
- The Guitar Slinger (Kip Moore, Dan Couch)
- Heart On Fire (Kip Moore, Jaren Johnston)
- Another Night In Knoxville (Kip Moore, Dan Couch)
- Silver And Gold (Kip Moore, Dan Couch, Chris DeStefano)
- Peace & Love (Kip Moore, Jaren Johnston)
- Sometimes She Stays** (Kip Moore, Kenton Bryant)
- Some Things (Kip Moore, Dan Couch)
- One Heartbeat (Featuring Ashley McBryde; Kip Moore)
- Mr. Simple (Kip Moore, Jaren Johnston)
- Micky’s Bar (Kip Moore, Dan Couch)
Country Swag Picks:
- One Heartbeat
- Damn Love
- Sometimes She Stays
- Some Things
Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Kip Moore releases.
To keep up with Kip Moore, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
Damn Love is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.