By Aaron Davis (for JHWeekly.com)
Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE **
This album neared the top of my “Most Anticipated Albums of 2012” wish list, and upon fourth listen, I’m finally wrapping my head around it. It feels strange when you’re a fan of an artist’s previous work and expectations lead you to be put off. What comes to mind as defining this set is a down-and-out swagger, a pendulum that swings between laziness “Movin’ On,” sparse loneliness “Am I that Lonely Tonight” and “Won’t be the Last Time,” and the presence punchy horns with rock/soul feel “Baby’s Got a Bad Idea.”
Earle’s been in and out of rehab over a dozen times, and this material obviously comes from a watered-down low. There’s a vulnerability in his voice and performance that appears brittle, or rather, “Hurting in the worst way / I got no money in my pocket / No place to stay,” as he puts it in “Look the other Way.”
While the magic of Midnight at the Movies is not found here, there’s lyrical honesty and a mood that floats a long way towards a genuine confessional.