Music review for May 8, 2014

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Gazette wire services
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hunter Hayes, “Storyline”

At a time when so many similar-sounding bros are dominating country radio, Hunter Hayes stands out. He’s the reigning Little Bro.

The 22-year-old’s sophomore album, “Storyline,” plays that up, hanging on emotional, inspirational anthems and tender love songs delivered in a sweeter, higher register that makes all his songs sound distinctive. It’s a risk, but the best new artist Grammy nominee seems poised to make it pay off.

The centerpiece is his single “Invisible,” the country ballad equivalent of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” that he debuted on this year’s Grammy telecast. On the esteem-building hit, he goes one step further than Gaga, singing, “If you look past this moment, you’ll see you’ve got a friend waving a flag for who you are and all you’re gonna do.” Hayes makes “Invisible” work so well that it overshadows everything else.

Hayes takes “Storyline” to a new plateau, but his tale is far from over.

—Glenn Gamboa, Newsday

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