Justin Townes Earle : Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
Another Justin Townes Earle album, another cover featuring the beloved protagonist in the foreground and a woman in the back; seems to be a running theme in the cover art of Earles’ albums. We could ponder the meaning of such imagery, and possibly get caught up in a feminist debate over Earles’ relationship with the female species but it would be unnecessary. The fact of the matter is, it’s about the music and women feature heavily in the subject matter of Earles’ music, along with themes of family, soul searching and melancholy.
Am I That Lonely Tonight opens the record with a sombre tone; simple instrumentation allows Earles’ tender vocals to sit at the forefront of the recording as he laments the relationship between father and son. Look The Other Way is a buoyant country/soul number but its’ content is still emotive as Earle sings of his desire to be a ‘better man’ and gain his mamas’ approval. Title track Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now continues in this forlorn vein; this time with a lover central to the story. The swagger and swing of the Jerry Lee Lewis inspired Baby’s Got A Bad Idea brings a sense of fun to the mix; with it’s rollin’ piano and horns while Down On The Lower East Side sees the Stax influence shine through. The record as a whole sees Earle and his band treading in soul territory but they are careful to only take elements from the genre and use them to embellish their already established sound. Won’t Be The Last Time gives the album it’s most earnest and sincere moment, as Earle sings of his ill treatment of his first love. With it’s stripped back feel, it reminds the listener just how powerful the mans’ voice is on it’s own.
While we are already acquainted with the themes in Earle's latest offering, that are yet to become tired and tried. His honest and heartfelt delivery sees each song he sings ring true– most probably because it is. Country music at its core aims to find a release for the pent up emotions that way the soul down and Earle is using his therapy well.
BY KRYSTAL MAYNARD
Best Track: Won’t Be The Last Time
If You Like This, You’ll Like These: OTIS REDDING, ARTHUR ALEXANDER, THE FELICE BROTHERS, WHISKEYTOWN
In A Word: Consistent