This is Earle's fourth release and follows his critically acclaimed 2010 album, Harlem River Blues, which debuted #47 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and led to a Song of the Year award at the 2011 Americana Music Awards.
Produced by Earle alongside longtime collaborator Skylar Wilson, the 10-track album was recorded completely live with no overdubs over a 4-day period at an old converted church recording studio in Asheville, NC. Of the new record, Earle comments, I think that it s the job of the artist to be in transition and constantly learn more. The new record is completely different than my last one, Harlem River Blues. This time I've gone in a Memphis-soul direction.
And that's true enough. While Harlem River was a love letter to his new hometown of NYC, this new album is a gorgeous, sometimes lush sometimes sparse, paeaon to a city that's given so much to the world musically. The sweat, the horns, the soul.....
The son of country-rock renegade Steve Earle has grown into a songwriter to rival his dad. His fourth LP is his strongest yet, a set of love-scarred folk-blues travelogues delivered with exactingly shaky phrasing and an undertow of Stax-Volt horns. 'Down on the Lower East Side' gets New York-jazzy, and 'Won't Be the Last Time' is honky-tonk weepy. Earle's bloodline follows him everywhere, and guides him, too; as he declares in the record's first line: "I hear my father on the radio singing, 'Take me home again.' #37 Best Album of 2012. --Rolling Stone
2012 was a fine year for brass sections, which helped bolster excellent new albums by the Mountain Goats and David Byrne & St. Vincent, among others, but some of the loveliest, most understated rock n roll horn-playing came on this quiet gem, Justin Townes Earle s fifth record in six years and his finest yet. The album s mouthful of a title can t quite decide whether it wants to be cocky or resigned and fatalistic, but these songs definitely tend toward the latter. Indeed, he could ve just stuck with the title s first three words, which become something of an implicit mantra it s in the rueful refrain of Won t Be The Last Time ; it s the counsel he gives to a hard-up friend, vainly hoping for her life to improve, on Unfortunately, Anna ; it s the subtext to Earle s repeatedly declared intentions to be a better man. Nothing s gonna change except love, of course, which can and probably will go sour. The horns, however, help keep things from getting all too forlorn softening the hard edges of his broken-hearted blues, cushioning the blows and lending a warmth and looseness to the occasional up-tempo diversions: reckless rave-up Baby s Got A Bad Idea and the sprightly, soul-soaked Memphis In The Rain as much as the bleary-eyed ballads that make up the bulk of the album. #13 Best Album of 2012. --Magnet
Justin Townes Earle may have been born in Nashville and spent some years wandering around New York City, but Nothing s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now draws greatly from another southern city: Memphis. Soul, blues and du-wop horns replace a lot of the old time instrumentation of his earlier records, without ever losing the raw, lonely lyricism Earle has become known for. The best songs blend all sides: Won t Be the Last Time, is a spare, aching slow burner driven by steel guitar and Earle s quintessential hard-nailed guitar plucks, and the title track has brass soft enough to carry the solemn weight of lines like when you wake up alone and you still smell my smoke. Nothing s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now shows an evolving Earle, but one thing is certain: even when he swaps old-timey bass lines for horn sections, his skilful songwriting keeps it s focus, melancholy as that focus may be. #28 Best Album of 2012. --American Songwriter
His voice remains packed with emotion and personality, but it has more range and takes more risks, as he whispers, slurs and moans like a midnight caller…His self-written songs, each as strong as the next, deal with family history, with the way loved ones shade the truth to each other, and with the downhill side of love and friendship. Somehow, through the confessionals and dark stories, a powerful light shines through. --Associated Press
The most effective singer/songwriters strip themselves naked, confess flaws and desires, perhaps ask for forgiveness or remain stubborn. Justin Townes Earle unflinchingly displays all of these behaviors on his superb fourth album...With just 10 tracks, the album yields only a brief glimpse of the singer's troubled soul, yet leaves you wanting more. --USA Today