Hunter Hayes — “I Want Crazy”
There has been a whole lot of crazy being sent to country radio stations lately. Tyler Farr offered up “Redneck Crazy,” which, if the song is any indication, is completely different from regular old crazy. “Girls are Crazy,” from Joanna Smith, stands out in a year where the Pistol Annies (together and solo), Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood have lapped their male contemporaries by releasing intelligent, thoughtful music. Smith’s contribution? “We’re crazy in love, crazy in the head, the crazier we are, the crazier in bed.” Don’t be surprised if her next single is called “Math is Hard.”
Then we get to Hunter Hayes, who seemingly heard Smith’s “Girls are Crazy” and answered back with “I Want Crazy.” Much like “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” Hayes is optimistic to the point of naivete about being in love. “It ain’t right if you ain’t lost your mind,” he sings, and anyone who’s been in the trenches when it comes to relationships can be forgiven for an eyeroll or two. Clearly, he’s singing to a younger audience who want to hear more about the wild and crazy side of love and not the harsh realities. If you think “You can’t undo a fall like this ’cause love don’t know what distance is,” is a cheesy line, you’re too cynical for “I Want Crazy.”
That said, the song is also ridiculously catchy, and Hayes’ talents as a singer and musician help make it rise above any lyrical missteps. “I Want Crazy” sounds like it was built off of a riff from an Irish jig. Throw in some lively mandolin and electric guitar solos, and it becomes one of the bounciest and most upbeat tunes of the year. While the lyrics are mostly fluff, it’s at least toe-tapping fluff.
In a relatively short amount of time, Hayes has become one of the leading figures in the pop-country world. Some of it can be attributed to his good looks and loyal teenage fanbase, but there is plenty of talent there as well. At the moment, lines like “Yeah I don’t want easy/I want crazy/Are you with me, baby?/Let’s be crazy” won’t garner any songwriting awards, but he’s got plenty of time to develop into a true triple threat.
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