Written by Greg Victor in Entertainment, Music, toparticles
Country singer Justin Moore is right where he should be – working with an adventurous record label, making authentic country music, choosing great songs, and hitting the road with one of the most respected stars in Nashville. He may have been named Billboard’s “Top New Country Artist of 2009,” but 2011 may end up being a much bigger year for him. It’s an exciting time, this period he is in – when an artist’s hard work suddenly begins to really pay off. He has developed his style, found his voice, and now, because of his developing his material, the audience is beginning to find him. And it looks like his new single “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” will be the one to bring him to a whole new level.
“If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” the lead single from Moore’s second album, is pushing its way toward the top of the charts. In its chart debut this week, it soared into the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart.
In the melancholic song (written by Dallas Davidson, Rob Hatch and Brett Jones), Justin pays tribute to loved ones lost to war, suicide, old age and other fatalities. he sings directly to his late grandfather in the most touching line:
“If heaven wasn’t so far away / I’d pack up the kids and go for the day / Introduce them to their grandpa / Watch them laugh at the way he talked.” The painful reality of missing loved ones no longer near reaches its most precise moment with the lyric that introduces the song’s title: “Losing them wouldn’t be so hard to take / If heaven wasn’t so far away.”
Considering what a brash, hell-raising cowboy persona Justin Moore displays on the concert stage (at least with his all-too-brief set on the recent Brad Paisley H20 tour), it is surprising to see him embrace a song that requires such emotional vulnerability. Justin says that when he first heard the song, it struck a real emotional chord because he had recently lost both his grandpa and his aunt in the same week… So the rebel rocker decided to record this song that everyone can relate to at some point in. Bravo to Justin for being able to share this side of himself so early in his career.
Justin benefits in other ways from the directness of this song; the straightforward sentiment is supported by an uncluttered musical arrangement, full of steel and string – another sign of good things to come on his next album, tentatively titled Outlaws Like Me. If there’s anything that Justin can pull off, it’s no-BS, traditional country music. I look forward to what I hope will be more of what this single promises.
Like I said – it’s an exciting time for Justin Moore. Not only did “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” hit country radio this Tuesday, but he also hit the road with Miranda Lambert’s “The Revolution Continues” tour last night in St. Louis.