The Upshot: Never one to shy away from excising his personal demons via song, Earle is just as honest and confessional here as he’s ever been.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Capping off his trilogy of albums about family (2014’s Single Mothers and 2015’s Absent Fathers), Kids in The Streets is just as charming and powerful as its predecessors.
A soon-to-be-father, Earle – never one to shy away from excising his personal demons via song – is just as honest and confessional here as he’s ever been. And surprisingly, despite songs like “What She’s Crying For” and the prison bound ditty “15-25,” the album is surprisingly positive. The nostalgic title track and the upbeat “What’s Going Wrong,” find Earle almost singing through a smile.
There are a lot of firsts on this album: It’s his first for New West Records; He traveled to Omaha to record, rather than sticking with his regular turf in Nashville; and despite this being his seventh record, it’s the first one where Earle looked outside his regular crew for a producer. While this is very much an Earle affair the extra help from Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Jenny Lewis) brings added depth to the music here.
The record closes with the beautiful, “There Go a Fool,” complete with soft horns and a pessimist’s take on optimism, which is exactly what you’d expect from Earle – cautious hopefulness.
DOWNLOAD: “What She’s Crying For,” “15-25” and “There Go a Fool”