Justin Moore, "Bait a Hook"

23 Jul

Songwriters:  Justin Moore, Rhett Atkins, Jeremy Stover

I’m just gong to put it out there.  I’ve never had much tolerance for the whole “Country boys are awesome – city boys are wusses” subgenre of country music.  In contrast to what the chest-thumping backwoods barbarians would have us believe, there’s actually a lot about country music that can appeal to city-dwelling individuals, and there are plenty of city folks who like country music.  It short-changes the entire genre to paint the country culture as a sort of exclusive club.

The lyrics of “Bait a Hook” indicate that, in Justin Moore’s world, the suitability of a potential new boyfriend hinges on his proficiency in hunting and fishing, ability to skin a buck, and capacity to down copious amounts of liquor.  In addition, possession of a frou-frou Prius or similar hybrid vehicle results in automatic disqualification.  Don’t know who Jack Daniels is?  You’re out, buddy!  Justin Moore scornfully laughs at the pitiable urban fool his ex-girlfriend has left him for.  As he confidently declares himself “not even worried,” because she’ll “come runnin’ back,” it’s downright irritating.

Am I the only one who finds it frustrating that virtually all Justin Moore can think to sing about is how country he is?  Aside from “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” which was actually rather good, Justin’s single releases have constantly seen him trying to sell the same one-dimensional character over and over again.  It’s getting very old very fast, and it frankly wasn’t even all that interesting to begin with.

I can’t get behind this.  I just can’t.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)


Posted by on July 23, 2011 in Single Reviews


12 responses to “Justin Moore, "Bait a Hook"

  1. Anonymous

    July 23, 2011 at 4:25 AM

    I think its great when people have pride in their way of life and their background, but it is a shame when people take it to the next level with rhetoric of us v. them and with needless bashing of different people. I believe Moore can do better than this, but radio seems to reward him for these types of songs so I guess we will see more of this in the future. I do find the "city-bashing" strange given that country radio has many listeners in cities. Seems like it might alienate listeners, but I guess not…I've heard this song a few times on my radio already, and I will admit that it is a bit catchy. Not really my kind of song but I think it could do well on the charts for Moore.

  2. Hoggy from Oz

    July 23, 2011 at 6:35 AM

    If I'm honest Ben, I think a score of 4 is quite generous for this song.

  3. Ben Foster

    July 23, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Such 'generosity' may have something to do with the fact that I think Justin's released much worse singles before this. I'd still take this over "Backwoods," but's obviously still not working for me.

  4. Anonymous

    July 24, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    I guess that makes "Backwoods" a three or worse. Ouch! But "Backwoods" is positively awesome compared with "Back That Thing Up." I love a double entendre more than most, but "Back That Thing Up" gives them a bad name. Anyway, upon reflection I think "Bait a Hook" is one of the better Justin Moore singles. Thats kind of a scary thought.

  5. Devin

    July 24, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    I bought Justin Moore's newest album, and man, there were just so many better choices for a single than this song…The real problem is that he writes all of his songs, save a few. That's great and all. But maybe you just have to acknowledge when songwriting isn't your strength. Granted, he's penned some pretty good ones on his first two albums. But I think he's just so one-dimensional in his writing because it's just easy to write about this stuff, especially for someone who really has lived in the country their whole life. That doesn't make it worth writing about though.If you took the highlights from his debut album and this one, and released it as a CD, people would honestly say, "Hey, that Justin Moore guy is pretty good." He has a good voice (possibly the most "country" voice on radio right now?). But both his albums were way too watered down with weak material and he consistently chooses the catchy but inane songs as singles. Summary: I kinda like Justin Moore. I don't think this song is worthy of being heard by millions of people.

  6. RowdyRed

    July 25, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Justin Moore has irritated me ever since I heard the first line of "Small Town USA." I highly doubt his "real" southern accent can compare to the cornpone twang he used on that one. To me, laying your accent on with a trowel is about as phony as it gets!And then there's "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away," about which I've ranted before, so won't belabor it. Suffice to say heaven IS so far away because its residents have earned both divine forgiveness and eternal grace, so you're not welcome to come around asking them to justify their lives, or just plain bother them. And it seems rather presumptious to even want to.Now then, THIS song. I heard it for the first time today, and I just shook my head. The "Us vs. Them" thing is not just tired, it's a self-fulfilling sentence, perpetuating whatever hostility you think you feel between the city and country cultures. I honestly can't recall one single song using the opposite dynamic — a city jerk bashing the country bumpkins he feels so threatened by. Whatever started this lashing out from country musicians, it's unbecoming and lazy and, frankly, fake for the most part. The majority of songwriters cranking out this stuff are living rather differently from the lifestyle they portray.So anyway, chalk up one more reason I think Justin Moore is overrated. He's gaining ground on Jason Aldean as my least interesting singer, for many of the same reasons — the role he has chosen is one I don't admire. Give me Billy Currington or Dierks Bentley, both of whom can write a lighthearted country ditty that doesn't discriminate as to who is allowed to like it or identify with it. Justin's score: 0

  7. Anonymous

    July 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Hey Justin! Guess what! There's more to a relationship than your favorite hobbies! I can't tell from this song whether the ex-girlfriend appreciated your intellect, your humor, your heart, or if you ever appreciated those things in her. Maybe all that country/city typecasting isn't as romantic or appealing as you think.Please, please, try working some of those ideas into your songs. You have a good voice but you're BOR-ING.

  8. SamB

    July 31, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Great review, and great to see someone else speaking out against the whole 'country boys rock, city boys suck' ethos of a certain strand of country music. I wrote about it on my own blog recently, how it makes me personally feel, but you put it very well!Also, this song just generally sucks.

  9. Anonymous

    August 17, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    See all this hate on this song ya'll have tell me one thing that ever girl ya'll has left you for for a real man. Ya'll are just pissed off cause he has point out everything you wished you could be but can't. Ya'll just wanna get on here and blog about a great man, and a great artist who writes music every redneck loves. And all you people know how to do is get pissed off like little pussies and brute about him on blogs because he something you can't be. But wait that's what you little city boys are good at just running that gator. So instead of talking shit about him why don't you talk shit about these dumb ass reality show like jersey shore and all them you probably watch

  10. Anonymous

    August 31, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    I think it's hilarious! Can't you folks take a joke?

  11. Ben Foster

    August 31, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    To me, this just doesn't quite work as a joke. It doesn't strike me as being particularly clever, and it lacks a punch line, so I tend to find it dumb instead of amusing.

  12. RowdyRed

    August 31, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Excuse me…this lady finds this song (and the guy it represents) highly insulting. He presumes that all the things he does are irresistable, and any other options are beneath consideration. He sounds like a very insecure little man masquerading as an egotistical blowhard. Sooo appealing. I can't IMAGINE how he lost his girlfriend to someone so different from him!


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