Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me is the fourth studio album from Justin Townes Earle. It chronicles the lugubrious moment of Earle's life with concisely written lyrics about his struggle with addiction, his experience following his father's fame and being raised by his mother. All of this gloomy material could easily overshadow an album, sending it toward 'too-much-to-handle' territory from a listener's perspective. But, as usual, Earle casts faint shadows over the meloncholy via epic instrumentals, ranging from trumpet solos to tawny-tinged brass guitar riffs. It keeps this from being a groping album and brings it to buoyancy.
It's the combination of Earle's Southern upbringing and relocation to New York City that has led to a clever melding of blues and honky-tonk country. "Baby's Got A Bad Idea," may have been the only (bad) one (idea) on the album, with hints of show-tune influences that make it hard to tolerate for typical Townes Earle listeners. "Unfortunately, Anne," is this album's most complementary pairing of sad on sad. As an artist that has struggled with emotional admittance, this album packs conviction appropriately. He keeps a deeply introspective album from being uncomfortably personal. This, of course, matches the tones of country music because often, if the lyrics are not attentively listened to, their meaning is lost in the music. Justin Townes Earle has created a raw album, and fitting that style, the album was recorded live in a studio in the mountains of North Carolina.
This is sophisticated country music that's not getting the attention it deserves. It might be the effect of Earle lingering in the footsteps of his father, or the enormous population of loyal country fans that refuse to stray from their strictly southern roots. They may also be wary of the lack of twang in Earle's voice. Most noticably, though, are the two polarities of popularity where Earle resides as a musician. On one side, the current stars of country music are emulating what's been done by commercial country artists from the past and of today. On the other side, Folk music has branched into countless sub-categories and been bolstered to popularity because of that freedom of expression. Earle is stranded in the middle of those two places, essentially making underground country music that is being ignored by both sides. Regardless, Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me is a country album, and it could be changing the way a lot of people feel about him, should they choose to listen.