REVIEW: Justin Moore – Bait A Hook

Justin Moore has been an interesting artist to follow in country music. With someone with such a strong sense of who he is, he’s never been able to find a song that really got him the attention he deserved until “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.” He’s always had different single choices than what I would have chosen for him, and now after the success that was “Heaven,” would he be able to follow that up and stay in the spotlight?

I saw him live for the first time last weekend at the Capital Hoedown in Ottawa, Canada. I had been told by fans how great of a performer he was live – and they weren’t kidding. Once you’ve seen him sing the tracks off of “Outlaws Like Me” it’s hard to rock out to the studio versions in the same way. “Bait A Hook” is his latest single from his new album, and while it is catchy, it doesn’t live up to its live potential – but it’s still great.  While critics have looked down on the song unfavorably because of the city boy versus country boy topic, I love it!

“Bait A Hook” is catchy as heck. It’s a completely different direction than his last, touching single in “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” and brings back the Justin Moore that you see in concert. It’s a rocker that will easily see airplay on country music radio. It’s a single that finally shows off his sense of humor, and if you listen to the lyrics you’ll laugh right along with him. It’s one of my favorites off of his album, and I’m pretty sure it will be a fan favorite when played live.

The song was co-written by Justin, Rhett Atkins, and Jeremy Stover and the lyrics aren’t the only good part of the single: the smooth guitar licks and steel guitar make it a groovy little tune. Unlike some of the songs that deal with the Southern and proud theme (“Kiss My Country Ass” by Blake Shelton, “Only Prettier” by Miranda Lambert), the song isn’t too loud or overbearing. It’s a feisty, funny little track that’s easy to listen to and will get stuck in your head. It gets better the more you listen to it. And you will listen to it over and over again.

In the song, Justin slams the new boyfriend of his ex for not knowing how to be a real Southern boy. The new boyfriend can’t bait a hook, skin a buck, and can only drink two “umbrella” drinks. Justin is a jokester, and he brings that out in the single. Country radio listeners who might not have seen him live or have seen an interview with him will be introduced to the real Justin Moore: the funny, playful, joking around Arkansas native.

Overall, the single is one of the stronger ones for Justin, and I see it doing well on radio. What remains to be seen is what single comes after this one… will he be serious again, or playful?

What do you think about the single? Is it one of your favorites or would you have picked a different track from “Outlaws Like Me”?

“Bait A Hook” was sent out to country radio on August 1st. It’s currently #38 on the Mediabase country singles chart.

ALBUM: Outlaws Like Me
POTENTIAL: Top 10 Mediabase single
RATING: 7 out of 10

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A 26 year-old Canadian girl currently living in England for a culinary career. Fell in love with country music and cooking at a young age, and looks for a way to do both.