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Showing 1-10 of 33 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 54 reviews
on March 28, 2012
It is inevitable that the follow up to a successful album will be compared to it, I think that all Justin Townes Earle fans would be satisfied and even welcome Harlem River Blues Part 2, and listening to this record Earle was obviously not willing take the easy way out and for this I thank him.
The sound of this album is different from his previous albums and EP, but not so much as to see no connections at all. The country influence of his previous work is still there, his hard-hitting and emotional lyrics are as present as ever ("Won't Be the Last Time" ranks up in his finest ever), and his distinctive voice and ragged delivery is still here. I will say this album is predominantly slower than Harlem, but this is not a bad thing (the emotion of the slow songs makes up for it) and there are upbeat songs ("Baby's Got a Bad Idea," "Movin' On," "Memphis in the Rain") scattered throughout.
I encourage anyone to pick up the record, but please do not simply compare it to Harlem River Blues, let it stand on its own as a new and great direction that Earle has gone in.

Key songs: "Am I That Lonely Tonight?," "Baby's Got A Bad Idea," "Won't Be The Last Time," "Movin' On"
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on April 1, 2012
I usually don't do reviews and just read others, but I felt compelled to write one about JTE's latest. I'll admit that I'm probably the not the most objective person in the world since JTE is absolutely one of my favorite artists, but do yourself a favor and buy this album immediately. Harlem River Blues was an amazing discovery for me and is one of my all-time favorite albums. I even went into this album with a preconceived notion that there was no way this album could compare. I'm here to tell you that it does in every way. I was looking forward to this release like no other artists and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.

The first time I listened to it, I rushed through it and didn't give a true listen. Much like Harlem River Blues, I gravitated to just the title track and didn't realize what pure gold was in the rest of the album. I kept playing it and really took the time to listen to each song. This album is fantastic on so many levels. If you're looking for one single standout track to match "Harlem River Blues," you won't really find it, but what you will find is a truly fantastic album.

As opposed to Harlem River Blues, JTE decides to start off a little slow with "Am I That Lonely Tonight," and this is one that may not impress the hell out of you at first, but you'll remember it and keep coming back to it over and over. I love starting the album over just to hear this song. "Look the Other Way" is hands-down one of the best tracks on the album. It's upbeat and will remind you the most of the title track from "Harlem River Blues." It's a true showcase for JTE's outstanding voice. The title track "Nothing's Gonna Change the Way you Feel About me Now" is similar to "Am I that lonely tonight," and is a slower melody, but his voice will stick in your head and you can't get it out. This is probably one of the more underrated tracks on the album.

"Baby's Got a Bad Idea" stands you right back out and get you groovin'. It reminds me a lot of "Move Over Mama" from HRB. It's an excellent rockabilly song that will have you tapping your toes and trying to keep up with the beat. I'm sure that even those who don't care for the album as a whole will even admit this is a superb song. "Maria" is one of my favorite songs on the entire album. It may get overlooked because it's sandwiched between two of the more catchy songs on the entire track. "Down on the Lower East Side" may not come out demand your attention, but it's one of the best on the entire album. This song takes you to your favorite jazz bar and could be played to any audience and everyone will like it. Smooth, melodic, and fantastic jazz sounds. A little similar to "Slippin' and Slidin," but more jazzy for sure.

"Won't be the last time" admittedly isn't one of my very favorites, not necessarily because the song itself isn't good, but almost all the others are so damn good. You may compare this song to "Learning to Cry" from HRB. "Memphis in the Rain" is absolutely fantastic and brings out all of JTE's best twang. One of the very best tracks on the entire disc. "Unfortunately Anna" is a very heartfelt slow song that probably suffers a little bit from being after "Memphis" and setting up for the fantastic finish of the final two songs.

Some may disagree, but the finish of the last two songs is absolutely fantastic and my favorite part of the album (I know I've said that way too much, but I can't say enough about this album). "Movin' On" is my absolute favorite song on the least for now. Slow starter, but one of the grooviest damn songs I've ever heard. Play this song a few times and see if you can help but tap your toes to the beat. This is followed up by "Oh Darling" and a truly superb finish. Starting off with almost a mariachi flavor with horns, this song will leave you wanting more of the album and you'll probably want to restart it immediately.

Like me, if you go in looking for a title track resembling "Harlem River Blues," you want find in the beginning and you may even question how in the hell can someone compare this album to HRB, but go back, crack your favorite brew or bottle wine and listen to this album again on a beautiful sunny day and you won't be disappointed. Already one of my favorite albums and confirms yet again that Justin Townes Earles is one of the best damn artists alive. Can't wait to go see him on tour when he heads down to Georgia in May. As mentioned in the title, you may question it at first and even scoff at the idea, but once you listen to this album all the way through a few times, you'll likely realize that this absolutely is as good as Harlem River Blues. Do yourself a favor and buy this album NOW!
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on April 12, 2012
I don't know that much about JTE; just that I really liked his last couple of albums. I was surprised, when at a show last summer, he seemed to experiment with a much slower, almost drugged out style on a couple of his more popular songs. It was cool but very different. Some of this album reminds me of that style. Other parts remind me a lot of Van Morrison. I've listened to this a couple of times now and overall, I think it's a very solid effort.
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on March 3, 2013
This has been one of my favorite albums from the past year. I am totally drawn to the sound of this album. When I first heard a cut on our local college radio station I thought it might be some long lost Van Morrison song. I love the live sound of the recording. The horns work so well. Being a huge Steve Earle fan, I find the relationship topics very interesting.
I have read all the books and articles about Steve, so it is informative to hear Justin's take on things. This is just a great singer-songwriter album. He deals with things that are obviously on his mind and the sound he captured in the studio just enhances the raw emotions that are peeled away. I have listened to this album countless times and will continue to do so.
I am considering buying it on vinyl now so I can interact with it even more. Justin passed his dad's latest effort with this one.
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on September 8, 2013
When I heard "Look the Other Way" on my Pandora's Americana channel, I ran up from the basement...and HAD to learn more about this guy. He has the pedigree, the street credibility, Van Morrison-style arrangements, a Dylan-esque writing and talk-sing style, and Otis Redding-type presentation that gives the language, emotion, and rhythm center stage. I bought the CD, then listened to it like 5 times in a row...then 8 days straight...couldn't get enough. Earle's tunes here--backed with Stax-like horns and Cropper-style guitar licks--contain enough infectious hooks to carry the song to the listener without overpowering Earle's presentation. THIS kind of backing/production is the perfect fit for his message, and this CD shows JTE as an electric writer/performer who has honed his craft.
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on November 8, 2012
I am a big fan of Justin Townes Earle. I was lucky enough to catch him live in NC performing with Dan Auerbach. I am hoping to catch him again appearing locally this month. I own a couple other albums by him Harlem River Blues among them. I think I like this one the most. It has that sedated, almost saddened cast to it but that is what I like. These days its just nice to listen to someone with some real talent and something to say instead of all of these "manufactured" artists that they trot out one after the other. If you are a Justin Townes Earle fan and do not have this album I hightly reccomend it. If you are not already a fan and are thinking of dipping your toe in the water this is a great place to start. The only thing I want to add is that he sounds even better live so if you ever get a chance to catch him live by all means do it.
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on April 27, 2013
This is my first Justin Townes Earle cd and I do like it. The songs are catchy and do get stuck in my head, which for me, generally bodes well. There are several distinctive songs here and I can listen to the entire cd without having to skip tracks. Justin sounds, of course, very much like Steve, but might be even a little more polished, and I can understand his popularity. I think if you are a Steve Earle fan, that you'd probably enjoy this one. I will be listening to, and probably buying more of Justin's music. An enjoyable listening experience overall.
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on July 9, 2012
I am relatively new to Justin Townes Earle, having him only on a couple of compilations, so I was anxious to try him out. I was not disappointed. JTE sings with a gritty realism about family, and other real life, situations. I was particularly moved by "Unfortunately, Anna," which packs a powerful punch and delivers an important life lesson. The songs flow nicely and are backed up with beautiful instrumentation. My only regret is that it is too short.
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on October 20, 2013
Ever since I first listened to Midnight at the Movies I have been a big fan of Justin Townes Earle and this new album
is yet another quality performance that is really easy to listen to. My favorate cuts are Baby's Got a Bad idea because of the up beat tempo and Memphis in the Rain because of the coutry/blues overlays but there is not cut that I do not like
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on March 6, 2013
JTE is nobody's clone. His music is unique and interesting...very listenable stuff. I don't see him breaking into the pop charts anytime soon, so listen to the samples on Amazon and if the music appeals to you, get the CD.
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