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Album Review
Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now

Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
by Justin Townes Earle

Bloodshot Records

Review Date
22nd March 2012
Reviewed by
Danielle Street

The fourth album in five years from Justin Townes Earle marks yet another change in style for the Nashville-native. Moving on from the award-winning 2010 release Harlem River Blues, Earle has adopted a slightly more morose tone for new album Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now.

Opening track, 'Am I That Lonely Tonight?' is a real dust-kicking, sad-sack of a song, with the gooey eyed East-sider lamenting about his father, complete with string section and double bass. Stepping forward through the album, Earle leans on the staples of county music lyricism, broken hearts, broken bottles and broken homes. So much so, the first time I heard it I was practically bawling at my desk. But each subsequent listen of a dozen-ish times has me jumping back and forward over the fence. His distinctly sincere songwriting paired with the clarity of his voice is endearing, but the frequent Americana-by-numbers approach to arrangement tends to dull the lustre.

In saying that, Earle has pegged this album as having more of a sixties Memphis soul influence than his previous efforts. The modus operandi for achieving said sound included driving to North Carolina to record in a church turned recording facility, where his nine-piece studio band could all pile on in and record in one hit. Thanks to the stabbing horns, jabbing keys and swinging sax that feature in the album, the desired Stax sound is brushed up against especially in fittingly named track 'Memphis in the Rain'. But I can't help but feel at times the record is missing a touch of the gritty sultriness of the genuine article.

Jumping back over the fence again, arguably one of the best songs comes at the dusk of the record. Earle, always one to pay respect to his musical forefathers nods to Springsteen on 'Unfortunately, Anna', which begins with simple plucking and builds to raise arms hairs with its beautifully deceptive lyrics, before settling back down again.

Closing track 'Movin' On' is also pretty swell, but to be honest anything that features a harmonica is guaranteed to win me over. So, despite my bitching about the slightly spongier moments on Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now think I’ll stay on the thumbs-up side.


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