John Moreland
In The Throes


4.5
superb

Review

by Curse. USER (64 Reviews)
February 12th, 2014 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I just wanna let you know, I think I’m finally free, tell the congregation not to waste their grace on me"

Not enough can be said about the importance of sincerity in music. Many artists, especially acoustic, have died by not having the ability to relate to listeners. That ability to write in a way that connects with a listener so intimately that it transcends the music is a unique thing, something that can’t be faked. Someone can bullshit people into thinking that they have a better voice than they actually do with a few studio tricks, but to truly reach out and grab people with what is being said is not a ruse that can be pulled. Most listeners can tell if lyrics are coming from a personal place, which immediately makes that portion of the songwriting more important. There are an infinite amount of acoustic artist that think they can succeed in doing this, but in reality it is very few. John Moreland is one of the few. Making a southern tinged acoustic style the backdrop, he shares his pain, doubts, and triumphs with the listener, giving them a glimpse into his experiences.

John Moreland keeps his compositions simple, instead wringing emotion from his guitar lines. Using the country band sound to great effect in “Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore”, Moreland is able to take a largely contrived sound and make it his own throughout one of the highlights of In The Throes. On other tracks his stories are backed only by his acoustic guitar, such as “Blacklist”, where he creates a contemplative and heart-wrenching mood to accompany his story of longing for home the way it used to be. His smoky voice is able to push his lyrics to another level, creating an intimate atmosphere in which his lyrics can soar. He doesn’t have a ton of range, but it doesn’t matter because he fills each line with such candor and openness. Lyrics such as ” I was never scared of nothing, I thought I had a home/Life went and broke me open, cause I carried it alone” (from “Break My Heart Sweetly”) carry such weight, coming from a place of regret.

Moreland’s songwriting capabilities are to be lauded; it takes quite a lot to rise above the genre that he chooses to play in. In The Throes spotlights a man who has a lot of pain, and it fuels him to create affecting songs. He understands how to write so that it is both personal and incredibly easy to relate to, striking a perfect songwriting balance. As of now Moreland is far from a household name, but from In The Throes it stands to reason that it won’t be for long. Everyone has doubts, shame, regret; Moreland lets them know that they aren’t alone. Allowing his pain to be cathartic for the listener, Moreland has created a genuine and exceptional record.



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user ratings (19)
4.3
superb


Comments:Add a Comment 
Curse.
February 12th 2014


8079 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://johnmoreland.bandcamp.com/



My old roommate toured with this guy, and he is amazing.

YourDarkAffected
February 12th 2014


1867 Comments


I like this straight line of Contrib reviews we have going.

YourDarkAffected
February 12th 2014


1867 Comments


Nice review too. One suggestion: You might want to change this into a period, instead of a comma since it's a complete thought. Or opt for a semi-colon.

"Moreland’s songwriting capabilities are to be lauded,"

Curse.
February 12th 2014


8079 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good catch, fixed.

Curse.
February 12th 2014


8079 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I do really hope some people check this out

CrisStyles
February 15th 2014


796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an amazing album, every listen just gets better and better. Probably going to bump my rating up soon.

17WordHaiku
May 30th 2015


263 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

one of the best songwriters in music today.

theBoneyKing
May 2nd 2017


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is really fucking good

theBoneyKing
May 3rd 2017


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

And all those pretty girls who looked like movie stars

They look pretty ordinary, 28 years old

Checking out at Walmart with babies in their arms


theBoneyKing
June 6th 2017


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One for the money, four on the floor

You were born last week with your foot in the door

I heard truth was what songs are for

Nobody gives a damn about songs anymore




I should review his new one, it's also quality.

theBoneyKing
December 3rd 2017


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well you know I used to love you, but now I don't think I can

And it ain't you, it's just that feeling's more than I can stand


theBoneyKing
February 21st 2018


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

God, “Blacklist” is just such a gut-wrenchingly perfect song.

theBoneyKing
April 4th 2018


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I was wrong yet again

I'm getting tired

Telling God I'm pissed at him




Fuck it, it’s a 5.

blastOFFitsPARTYtime
August 21st 2018


1972 Comments


Love this dude. Fucking beaut live, too.

dmathias52
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2019


1730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Holy cow, thanks for the rec Boney! Blacklist and Carry My Heart Sweetly are beautiful, as is this whole thing. Can't wait to see him alongside Isbell.

theBoneyKing
June 6th 2019


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome man, glad you enjoyed. Nice to see someone broke my echo chamber too, lol.Yeah this is such an overlooked album, “Blacklist” is one of the best songs of the decade. He is indeed awesome live too, him and Isbell will be an incredible show.

dmathias52
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2019


1730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just been in the mood for this kind of stuff with the weather changing, and this hit the spot perfectly. And always more than happy to break up echo chambers lol

I'm currently jamming Tyler Childer's album "Purgatory", if you're not familiar with that. A little more upbeat tempo-wise, but his voice is absolutely killer.

theBoneyKing
February 8th 2020


22409 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

New album LP5 dropped yesterday. Digging it so far, nothing he's made since this has been quite as special but it's all still great. This new one has some electronic flourishes that I'm not a huge fan of but they're pretty subtle and the songwriting still really shines. Guy just has such a great feel for emotional songwriting, his songs feel so comfortable and lived-in even when they're not the most impressive things ever, always make me feel a little better about everything.

dmathias52
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2020


1730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Loving the new one too! Probably my favorite of his since this one, but still not quite on this level. Undecided on the electronic flourishes, I think they’re welcome as a new sound, but I think the intimacy of this one is another reason why I’ll come back to it more often.

dmathias52
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2020


1730 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah this is a classic



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