Song Review: Kip Moore – “She’s Mine”

The short version: There’s a good idea behind “She’s Mine,” but it’s carried out in a lackluster way.

  • Writers: Kip Moore, Dan Couch, Scott Stepakoff
  • Rating: 5/10

The long version: True to the title of one of his songs, Kip Moore has certainly been “the comeback kid.”

After finding some early success in his career with a few hits, Moore found himself stumbling pretty hard from 2013-17, at least as far as radio success was concerned (in terms of pure sales, he had nothing to worry about, which is worth its own conversation). Sure, something like “Somethin’ Bout A Truck” was a smash hit, but that’s because it pandered to the lowest common denominator and showcased a side of Moore he’d try to shed in later years.

That, of course, explains those other years, where, despite seemingly every other male artist hopping onto the trend of the day, Moore stuck with his heartland rock sound channeling, say, Bruce Springsteen or Bob Seger, for better or worse. It’s a risk that finally payed off in 2017 when Moore finally garnered his first top 10 hit in years with “More Girls Like You,” which, despite sounding more polished than previous songs of his, still carried his signature sound, even if, again, that doesn’t always equate to quality. And yes, it’s just as fair to question his place in country music as it is to question just about any other artist you can think of right now in the format.

As of now, it’s hard to gauge where Moore is at in his career. The tides of country music are shifting in unexpected directions, meanwhile Moore stands somewhat as an outsider to it all, reportedly doubling down on his Wild Ones album’s sound for his upcoming studio project. As a further testament to that, the lead single, “She’s Mine,” was a song Moore wrote 10 years ago, so those worried about a dramatic shift in style surely wouldn’t be disappointed.

But as I hinted at with “More Girls Like You,” while Moore’s underdog persona and commitment to his sound is commendable, it doesn’t automatically mean the quality will always be present. Sadly, “She’s Gone” is an example of that – a song with a good idea that’s fairly gutless in its execution.

As for the positives, Moore’s voice is certainly an acquired taste, but there’s no denying that he’s one hell of a presence behind the microphone. As per usual, there’s a razor sharp edge to his howl exhibiting plenty of passion and emotive range, to the point where, again, it’s fair to just say he’s more suited for hard rock than he is country music. Still, it’s always refreshing to hear a singer who can utilize every part of his range, with production that supports it by letting him ride the heavier groove off the atmospheric mix. I’d say he becomes a tad drowned out during the chorus, but that’s a minor nitpick in an otherwise stellar performance.

As for the sound, it’s also pretty agreeable, though it sticks the landing less than the vocal performance. On one hand, the driving electric guitar and drum combination keep up the momentum fairly well, and that’s important when digging into the actual lyrical content. Moreover, I’m not the first critic to praise Moore’s plea for better basslines in music, especially when his usually help drive the spacious grooves of his material (and that’s no exception here). But there’s still something oddly safe and polished about the tones here, never sounding bad, but also never evolving beyond what they start out as, and that’s disappointing coming from Moore. Again, there’s definitely a pulse here, but there’s also a difference between bright, shimmering textures and ones that feel stagnant, and this song tests the latter, unfortunately.

When digging into the lyrical content, I’ll say that Moore usually ends up striking out in this area more than he succeeds (a HUGE exception being “Guitar Man”). Still, there’s something likable about what “She’s Mine” is going for – an ode to find that special someone even though you’ve never even met them yet.

The thing is, it’s an admittedly cheesy concept that, at the very least, needs a performer who can subtly pull if off. And if there’s one thing Moore isn’t, it’s subtle. Even when you do find that significant other, there’s better ways of winning them over by walking up to them and proudly declaring, “you’re mine,” because that’s certainly flattering.

“She’s Mine” also falters for not being anywhere near as interesting as its idea, with the chorus simply being a lazy list of things this girl could be doing, but never reaches any significant meaning in what the objective of that is. It’s trying to give depth and character to someone by being overly broad in its scope, in turn failing to say anything significant at all. The Steel Woods released another song called “Wherever You Are” earlier this year pulling from this exact same concept much better, if only because it focuses on both characters and gives an understated beauty to the actual quest, which, again, speaks to the “subtle” aspect of it all that “She’s Mine” is lacking.

The core of “She’s Mine” is fairly likable, but otherwise it’s one of Moore’s most forgettable singles yet. Of course, this is just a single the record label decided to release to radio to satiate interest in the upcoming project, so while there’s no cause for concern just yet, “She’s Mine” is simply an underwhelming return for Moore.

(Decent 5/10)

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