Rolling Stone Country: Failed Singles, 'Effing Auto-Tune' and New 'Wild Ones'

Fed up with studio slickness and spoon-fed hits, the introspective songwriter releases the year's most honest album
Kip Moore's new album 'Wild Ones' is informed by the blue-collar ethos of Springsteen, Seger and Mellencamp. 

It's a little after 11:00 am on a Tuesday, and Kip Moore is sitting at a table in the back of a chicken restaurant called Party Fowl near downtown Nashville, sipping a glass of water and thumping out the bassline to the Temptations' "My Girl" on his inky denim-covered leg.

He sings the famous intro in a pitch one or two notches higher than his unmistakable sandpaper howl, dipping his chin up and down to the beat as his brows — brown, with little specks of errant gold — rise. "I got sunshine. . . "

For all the gritty anthems on his much-anticipated second record, Wild Ones, released today, and all the Asbury Park-inspired licks that turn those Western collars blue, Moore, 35, has a diehard dedication to Motown. "Sam Cooke is probably my favorite of all time," he says in his tight, South Georgia drawl. "If I had my go-to desert island artist, it would probably be him." Mostly, he admires those basslines — the way they swivel and curve, not just follow the groove like most songs that currently reign on country radio. If you listen to tracks like "Magic" and "That Was Us" on Wild Ones, there it is, loud and clear: a throbbing pulse, walking a different path entirely from the melody.



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