Adriane Pontecorvo: There’s a fairly standard Americana twang to John Moreland’s latest track and a fairly standard catchy chorus, but oh, that voice. Whiskey-tinged and tear-stained, John Moreland’s voice turns a standard into a standout. He has an earthiness beyond his years on “It Don’t Suit Me (Like Before)”, a reflective song that proves you can be a seasoned pro even at the age of 31. There’s a depth here that belies the happily bouncing melody, a melancholy, a shadow. A good tune with some good, good grit to it. [8/10]
Steve Horowitz: The gritty vocals reveal a work-worn soul. Life’s experiences change us all. John Moreland sees life as a battlefield and chooses to leave the war behind. That makes sense. However, Moreland’s pain is a given and not earned. The song needs a backstory to be complete. “Used to having a business point of view” doesn’t reveal enough to make Moreland’s rebellion have weight. That said, the bounciness of the endeavor does suggest he has successfully chosen to seek something better. [6/10]
Paul Carr: Moreland seems to be at least attempting to make peace with himself and his struggles on this contemplative yet more optimistic and forward-looking offering. Here, he seems to have subsumed his inner Springsteen as his throaty, raspy singing voice perfectly suits the more rock n roll sound on show here. The song takes a few listens to sink in, but when it does, it leaves the listener in little doubt that this Oklahoma native is one of the finest voices in contemporary alternative-country. [8/10]
Mike Schiller: This is about as likable as music gets. John Moreland’s latest is the type of song you swear you’ve heard before, the type of song whose mood defines “lived-in”. It’s easy to enjoy on the first listen, easy to sing along to on the second. Creating something so familiar carries the risk of it blending into the scenery, and this does to some extent, but Moreland’s charm is mostly enough to overcome his song’s too-easy-listening tendencies. [7/10]
Scott Zuppardo: I feel sheepish on this one being that I’m well-versed in all things Moreland and we share a bunch of the same friends. This kid is the most real of deals, and I can’t wait for the new full-length. [8/10]
John Moreland’s new album Big Bad Luv releases 5 May via 4AD. It is available for pre-order now.