Label: Atlantic Nashville
Hunter Hayes' much-anticipated sophomore effort, Storyline hits the country/pop sweet spot, zeroing in on gently twanging songs with major pop hooks. Opener "Wild Card" is breezy enough to lift even the dourest of moods. Its driving beat and slinky guitar riffs amplify the feel-good nature of the song, and it pairs nicely with the epic, sprawling feel of the album's title track. But Hayes sounds exceptional when he slows the pace down, and keeps bombast to a minimum. Highlights include "When Did You Stop Loving Me," "Love Too Much" and "Flashlight."