Review – Kip Moore Hopes to Regain Early Success with “I’m To Blame”

Kip Moore hasn’t had the easiest time with consistency in the mainstream light. Kip had three top-10 singles off his debut album, with “Somethin’ Bout a Truck” hitting the number 1 spot. However, his two follow-up singles (“Young Love” and “Dirt Road”) have failed to crack the top-20 of the country and Airplay charts. The disappointing performances of those songs caused Moore’s team to push pause on a new album release last year and figure out how to move forward. Fans don’t want to see Kip Moore to go away, and neither does country music. Between a semi-finalist nod for best new artist (however debatable) at the upcoming ACM’s and a spot on Dierks Bentley’s Sounds of Summer tour, Kip Moore is still a hot commodity for country music. Hoping to build on this momentum, Kip Moore has a new single out to radio titled “I’m To Blame.”

“I’m To Blame” carries a simple rock-inspired melody. Heavy drum beats over guitar notes drive the first verse. The production gets a little busy once the chorus kicks in with some “double clap” sounds and extra guitar licks sneaking in. It’s an upbeat groove that’s easy to get into, and probably most importantly for Kip, it’s a safe melody that should attract many listeners.

Lyrically, Kip has a semi-fresh perspective on the “bad boy” story. Where Eric Church tells a family saga of sinners in “Sinners Like Me” or Josh Thompson tips his hat to the outlaws in “Blame it on Waylon,” Kip Moore knows who’s at fault with his wrongdoings. Essentially, this song is a take it or leave it, this is who I am song. “If it ain’t broke, you can bet that I’m gonna break it/If there’s a wrong road, I’m damn sure gonna take it” Kip sings in the first verse. In the chorus he does mention that he comes from a bloodline who won’t change, but Kip Moore accepts the fact that he is who he is. “So take your pistol pointing finger right off of the trigger/I know where to aim, hell, I’m to blame.”  The lyrics are pretty safe, and average for a country “bad boy” song.  They aren’t offensive, but nor are they groundbreaking, original, or inspired.

“I’m To Blame” is a short, catchy jam coming in a quick 2:14 for its run time. He doesn’t waste time with guitar solos in the song; the lyrics are packed in tightly. Should “I’m To Blame” do well on the charts, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear news of an album release date. Frankly, I think “I’m To Blame” should catch the ears of country music fans. It has a catchy hook. However, it’s not a meaningful, well intended country song. It’s a fun, safe track for radio. It’s Kip Moore singing a song to garner radio attention without being a trend-chasing sellout. I’d theorize that “Young Love” stalled because the ballad was too stark a contrast to the bro-country love fest, and “Dirt Road” had anti-heaven notions with a heavy rock melody was too polarizing to the feel-good pop trends. But country radio is starting to move away from bro-country and trying to reestablish a better identity, so now it appears to be a good time to release a new single to kick off a new album. Between the upbeat, pop-rock style production and a simple concept to buy into, “I’m To Blame” has the makings to re-spark the fire of Kip Moore’s career.

Grade: 6/10

22 thoughts on “Review – Kip Moore Hopes to Regain Early Success with “I’m To Blame”

  1. Zack January 16, 2015 / 6:57 pm

    I’m glad to see Kip is back. You nailed it here, this is a safe song to get Kip back on the radio. That being said I love the hook, however I wish we had a more melodic chorus and I also notice that the verses and the chorus seem to blend together. I like this though and would love to hear this on the radio and see it do well for Kip. While this may be mild, one thing is for sure is that Kip’s new album won’t be. It’s weird, even though his last #1 was three years ago, he still has a large enough fanbase that he still feels bigger than other new guys in his division (Swindell, Eldredge, Farr,…etc)

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    • Derek Hudgin January 17, 2015 / 10:01 am

      Kip has a huge loyal fan base. And, even when I saw him a year and a half ago, before “Young Love” was pushed to radio, a good chunk of his show was unreleased songs.

      I get the vibe from Kip that he doesn’t want to be the “Beer Money” or “Something Bout a Truck” bro in country music. He hasn’t quite found a niche, but he’s got a good rock style to his songs and a good collection of songs deeper than a FGL Saturday night.

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  2. Cobra January 17, 2015 / 10:05 am

    You know, despite “Somethin’ Bout a Truck,” I thought Kip’s debut album was pretty darn good. And I’ll even admit that “Beer Money” is kind of a guilty pleasure song for me. I’m willing to admit liking it, despite its pandering to a lot of cliches. I’m actually looking forward to his new album.

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    • Derek Hudgin January 17, 2015 / 10:17 am

      I agree. “Beer Money” is much more enjoyable than just about all its bro country counterparts. But outside those two songs, UP ALL NIGHT was a good debut album. And I haven’t really heard an unreleased song of his that I don’t like.

      Even when he does write cliched songs, I think Kip adds a bit more flair or shows a bit of effort to make the song more than just a carbon copy someone else’s big hit.

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