Just Move On
Reviewed by: Asher Wolf
For better or for worse, Libby Koch is quintessential. If I had to sum up country music in one shot she might be my pick. Just Move On walks trodden ground, but does so with warmth and ease, expertly weaving together a number of country tropes into a comfortable and satisfying collection of originals. The album is an easy listen with enough depth and expertise to stay engaging.
Armed with a versatile, charismatic voice, Koch is stylistically omnivorous. She stretches her country palette to incorporate rock, folk, blues, and many of the other styles that define the Texas music scene from which she hails. The title track features an adamant southern rock groove played with laid-back synchronicity between the band members. Upping the tempo, “I’ve Been Blind” begs the audience to dance with a homerun pop chorus stitched onto the song’s Americana chord pattern (“If seein’ is believin’ baby, honey I think I’ve been blind”). Koch also gets her fix for straight-ahead, classic country on tunes including the perky ballad “You Don’t Live Here Anymore”. She lets her robust voice crack with touches of falsetto as a weeping dobro weaves in and out of the rich texture.
Country is one of today’s most polarizing popular music forms. Ironically, while fans of the genre preach its down-to-earth honesty, skeptics often avoid it because of the over-processed, empty music that disproportionately influences country’s popular reputation. Musicians like Libby Koch help set the record straight. She doesn’t need to redefine country music because Just Move On demonstrates her capacity for honing the material that’s already there. Koch plays country the way it is meant to be played, with emotion, musicianship, and earthy, clever songwriting.