Big Bad Luv

Album Review of Big Bad Luv by John Moreland.

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Big Bad Luv

John Moreland

Big Bad Luv by John Moreland

Release Date: May 5, 2017
Record label: 4AD
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

80 Music Critic Score
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Big Bad Luv - Very Good, Based on 3 Critics

PopMatters - 90
Based on rating 9/10

Big Bad Luv is Oklahoman John Moreland's fourth solo record and the seventh (counting albums with Black Gold Band and Dust Bowl Souls) to feature his gruff vocals and ever-developing songwriter's eye for telling tales of broken dreams and stubborn streaks. Originally inspired by his discovery of Steve Earle to trade punk for folk, Moreland's last couple records (High on Tulsa Heat and In the Throes) evoked other masters of downtrodden, working class folk like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and Dave Alvin. His songs of gentle beauty and stubborn perseverance caught the ears of Sons of Anarchy producers, who included three of his songs over that series' run.

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American Songwriter - 80
Based on rating 4/5

Following up the breakthrough is a tricky business. The easiest thing for John Moreland to do following the success of his 2015 album High On Tulsa Heat would have been to deliver a sequel-like rehash of the acoustic glories of that album. Instead he beefs things and takes a full-band approach on Big Bad Luv, which contains almost as many hooks as it does Moreland's hard-earned kernels of truth.

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AllMusic - 70
Based on rating 7/10

Big Bad Luv is the fourth solo LP from Americana artist John Moreland, a rusty-voiced troubadour from Oklahoma whose career has been picking up steam since bursting onto the scene with a trio of releases in 2011. Initially emerging out of Tulsa's punk and hardcore scene, Moreland shifted toward alt-country in the mid-2000s and made his name backed first by the Black Gold Band then by his second group, the Dust Bowl Souls, before eventually going solo. He's bounced around with a couple of labels and landed a handful of songs on FX's Sons of Anarchy, but Big Bad Luv marks his debut for revered U.K.

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