DISClaimer: Hunter Hayes & The Shadowboxers Team For “Charming” New Track

Fall is in the air, and that means get ready for a flood of new releases from Music Row.

If anyone’s still buying records, they’re buying them for holiday gifts, right? So this week, we have Luke Bryan, Billy Currington, Dolly Parton, Hunter Hayes, the Josh Abbott Band and more testing the season with new sounds.

The Disc of the Day award goes to Hunter Hayes. His cool tune is embellished by The Shadowboxers, who are protegees of new Nashvillian Justin Timberlake. The resulting sound is a delight.

It’s a contest between Robert Stowell and Tyler Jordan for this week’s DisCovery Award. Both are admirable singers, but Tyler’s everyday-guy sincerity as well as his songwriting ability give him the edge.

ROBERT STOWELL/I’d Die For You
Writers: Rick Tiger/Adam Dorsey; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; RS (download)
– His resonant baritone delivers this throbbing, romantic ballad with hillbilly conviction and impressive power. Well written and nicely produced.

JOSH ABBOTT BAND/Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Reviver (download)
– Drawling hilarity. I have always liked this bunch, and now that they’ve gone full-on goofy, I’m even more of a fan. The gist of it is that he’s sloppy drunk and dunderhead confused. Give yourself a smile and spin it.

 

TYLER JORDAN/Why Her
Writers: Tyler Jordan/Stephen Kirk; Producer: Chad Carlson; Publishers: Just In Case/Swear By It, BMI; Silverado (track)
– The echoey-guitar production is super ear catching, and his assured-yet-downhome vocal is very likable. A power ballad with a friendly sounding heartache. Promising, to say the least.

DOLLY PARTON/I Believe In You
Writers: Dolly Parton; Producer: Tom McBryde; Publisher: Velvet Apple, BMI; RCA/Dolly (track)
– The title tune of Dolly’s first children’s album is inspired by the eternal kiddie book The Little Engine That Could. The chug-chug, train-whistle and woo-woo sounds are adorable. Tots will love it.

MILLER CAMPBELL/All Summer’s Breaking Loose
Writers: Miller Campbell/Bill DiLuigi; Producer: Geoff Ott; Publishers: none listed; MC (track)
– This gal hails from the Pacific Northwest. I guess they don’t have Auto-Tune up there.

HUNTER HAYES & THE SHADOWBOXERS/You Should Be Loved
Writers: Hunter Hayes/Sam Ellis/Blair Daly; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Atlantic (download)
– It has retro-sounding, doo-wop harmonies, piano triplets, a finger-popping beat and a bopping, boyish, innocent mood. Charming.

 

LUKE BRYAN/Light It Up
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Capitol (ERG)
– He’s waiting for her to light-up his screen with lipstick pictures or whatever. Is this the first country song lyric completely devoted to a cell phone?

GWEN SEBASTIAN/Quicksand
Writers: Gwen Sebastian/Chris Harris/Terri Jo Box; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; GS (download)
– It has a mysterioso vibe with darkly rumbling percussion; keening, echoey, spaghetti-western guitars and a minor-key melody. It’s about being helplessly drawn into a bad relationship despite misgivings. Naturally, this haunting sound drops on Friday the 13th.

BILLY CURRINGTON/Wake Me Up
Writers: Josh Osborne/Jimmy Robbins/Ashley Gorley; Producer: Dann Huff; Publishers: none listed; Mercury (track)
– He’s always had knack for finding catchy songs. This one urges an absent lover to interrupt him at any time of the day or night. The nervous rhythms and rapid-fire lyric delivery both underline the song’s yearning, jittery uncertainty. Billy scores again.

MIKE RYAN/Sad Song
Writers: Mike Ryan/Clint Lagerberg/Brent Anderson; Producer: Brent Anderson; Publishers: none listed; MR (track)
-It’s a cool, slow, heartbroken waltz in the verses that bursts into a full-throated, wailing-tenor shout in the choruses. This man is a singer. Essential listening.

 

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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