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