Friday, April 28, 2017

Hunter Hayes-Hunter Hayes (2011)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: April 28, 2017

From hunting down dance jams with bombastic bass beats to successfully hunting down something else from the easy-listening music genre—the self-titled debut of young country star Hunter Hayes (not to be confused with the saxophonist by the same name who was active in the early 80's) is both a wish fulfilled straight off the requests list and my first ever chance at getting formally acquainted with him and his talents. A bit of research beforehand informed me of this guy's ability as a multi-instrumentalist as well as his numerous musical achievements, so I was definitely eager to check out the tunes here that led to him receiving fame and recognition. Didn't take me long at all to appreciate his songwriting, his refined pop/rock sound and his dynamic vocal style when my ears took in the opener, "Storm Warning". A coincidence that I'd hear a song with such a title, given the dreary, chilly and rainy day that I've had to sit through. But whereas I welcomed the unexpected rains with open arms, the storm that Hunter endures on the opener is represented by the girl who gets him caught up in a beautiful mess, wishing he had some kind of sign or notice of what he was gonna get himself into. Hunting for further excellent listens thereafter requires no effort whatsoever; they're lined up nice and neatly, with any one of them being a potential prized possession after it keeps you company for a minute or two. For me, those prized possessions took the shape of a trio of lively tunes—"Love Makes Me" (as in 'love makes him do it'—the things that anybody who's in love could do), "Everybody's Got Somebody But Me" (this upbeat, perky country tune has a sunny, intimate touch, but the lyrics of disappointment rains on the love parade) and "More Than I Should" (an awesome rockin' country jam where you can feel the angst seething between every word, especially in the opening verse where he confesses that he wasted all his time and money treating the girl a queen, wishing he had just thrown a lighted match into a tank of gasoline)—plus the charming acoustic guitar/piano-driven piece called "Wanted" (as in simply wanting to make the girl feel wanted and loved in every way imaginable) and "Somebody's Heartbreak" (I like his idea that if the girl's gonna be somebody's heartbreak for a lifetime, let it belong to him, because it;s better to have some heartbreak than having nothing at all). Those are just a few offerings that I'm displaying in my trophy case; other listeners may covet the breezy country-flavored "If You Told Me To", the intimate comfort that is "Cry With You" or the lost-and-lonely-hearted "What You Gonna Do?". No matter which kind of song you're looking for to make your day, it's gonna be happy hunting either way:

1. Storm Warning
2. Wanted
3. If You Told Me To
4. Love Makes Me
5. Faith To Fall Back On
6. Somebody's Heartbreak
7. Rainy Season
8. Cry With You
9. Everybody's Got Somebody But Me
10. What You Gonna Do?
11. More Than I Should
12. All You Ever

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