On “Mama’s Eyes” Justin Townes Earle sings how he and his father “don’t see eye to eye,” but despite any disagreements between Earle and his father (legendary singer/ songwriter Steve Earle), they can agree on one thing: the younger Earle’s new album, Midnight at the Movies, is a devastatingly powerful follow-up to his acclaimed debut album, The Good Life.
Midnight at the Movies is a mature statement from someone who has packed a lot of living into his 27 years. As with The Good Life, Midnight at the Movies is an introspective look into the young songwriter’s life, though the new album goes much deeper than its predecessor dared. Earle leaves himself bare, crafting an album that is a slow-growing beast with its subtle take on country-folk that is given life by Earle’s soothing and comfortable voice that makes his words become more than simply lyrics. It is an album that rewards through repeated listening, lending itself to new discoveries each time, from the opening title track, to the family drama of “Mama’s Eyes,” to a cover of The Replacements “Can’t Hardly Wait.”
While Earle recognizes the differences he and his famous father have on “Mama’s Eyes,” he also recognizes their unflinching similarities, singing, “I am my father’s son, I never know when to shut up.” If he keeps creating albums like Midnight at the Movies, let’s hope he never does.
Midnight at the Movies is out now on Bloodshot Records.