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The Good Life

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Album Review

Let's get the obvious out of the way first: Justin Townes Earle's father is Steve Earle, and the sort of folks most likely to be interested in Justin's debut album The Good Life are the same kind of music fans who've been following his dad's work for years. Thankfully for Justin, that's not because he sounds all that much like his old man; Justin's voice is sweeter and clearer, and his clear fondness for old-school country gives The Good Life a pleasing feeling of understatement that's significantly different from Steve's tougher, more rock-oriented work. But if Justin is reaching back to the glory days of the Grand Ole Opry on numbers like "What Do You Do When You're Lonesome," "Hard Livin'," and the title tune, he also reveals a more contemplative side on thoughtful, no-frills singer/songwriter pieces such as the confessional "Who Am I to Say," the period gunman's saga of "Lone Pine Hill," and "Turn out My Lights," a plaintive meditation on loneliness and heartbreak. On the latter songs, Justin's music more closely resembles Steve's, but while the themes and approaches are similar, Justin isn't afraid to sound vulnerable, and the youthful modesty of both the songs and the performances works in their favor; this doesn't suggest the work of someone following Steve Earle's template but of a songwriter who has dealt with a set of similar demons and has a corresponding but distinct perspective on how they've impacted his life. The simple arrangements and hands-off production add to the gentle but decisive impact of The Good Life, and the result is a fine calling card for a young singer/songwriter who may not have worked out every last detail of his sound but clearly knows where he's going, and it happens to be a place worth visiting.

Customer Reviews

“If all I know is what I heard”

“Hard Livin’ “and “Who am I to say” easily great songs that make this a great album but then you add “Lone Pine Hill” and for that matter all the songs of this album do not disappoint .This is an album built on thoughtful and meaningful songs. The Good Life has been a standard road trip album since I stumbled upon it with its varied styles and a mix of energy “The good life” and endurance sounds such as ”Lonesome and you”. It is on its first 10,000 miles of a journey that hopefully has many more to come.

Biography

Born: January 04, 1982 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

In some respects, Justin Townes Earle seemed destined from birth to be a musician -- his father, Steve Earle, is one of America's most acclaimed singer/songwriters, and he was named in part for Townes Van Zandt, a close friend to Earle and an equally legendary tunesmith. But Justin also grew up learning the downside of the musician's life, and came up against some of the same demons that haunted his father. Born in 1982, Justin Townes Earle didn't see much of his dad through most of his childhood;...
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The Good Life, Justin Townes Earle
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