Hedley | Wild Life (Capitol)

cd hedleyThis one’s going to be on “repeat” on my iPod for a long, long time.

 

 

There’s nothing better than finding a new favorite artist; after all, that’s why I’m writing and you’re reading, right? So let me wholeheartedly recommend Hedley, whose new album Wild Life strikes all the right notes when it comes to sweet, sentimental, and pop-driven music. I haven’t yet mentioned Jacob Hoggard’s gorgeous falsetto, which is in full, glorious display throughout the album.

Intro “All the Way” delivers heartbreaking “For you” laid over the top of a background crowd urging “all the way. Next up is “Crazy for You,” its funky undertones and occasional vocoder providing the perfect reason to get your ’70s groove on. “Dreaming’s for Sleeping” is pure pop, a rollicking track perfect for your summer soundtrack. The pop-funk perfected by Adam Levine & Co. graces “Got Love,” while up next, “Headphones” gives Hoggard a chance to flex his vocal muscles; his voice here, especially on the refrain, reminds me somewhat of Rick Springfield. Scratchy earnestness defines “Heaven in Our Headlights,” with its galloping beat and “You and me against the world” theme.

A touch of ’80s keyboards gives way to full-on anthem “I’ll Be With You”; if it’s not on the radio yet, it should be. Layered over “Mexico”’s Middle Eastern music lines are the renegade vocals talking of leaving it all for a fresh start. The lighters-in-the-air anthem is “Pocket Full of Dreams,” which finds the chameleon vocalist drawing from his soulful center to touch the heart of every listener. Closing the album is the aching “Wildlife,” with its gentle piano and aching vocals. “Pause” provides the album’s only misstep, with a refrain that is pure cheese, something of a rap with childish group vocals offering “Fuck that!” after a proclamation of “Everybody said that I couldn’t go higher.”

Still, one song’s refrain is a small complaint compared to 10-and-a-half strong, engaging songs. This one’s going to be on “repeat” on my iPod for a long, long time. A | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: Maroon 5, The Script

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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