I’m kind of in a weird place right now, music-wise. Those that know me know my penchant for female pop, which makes my current obsession with male voices all that much weirder (more on that in another post.) But heaven help me, I had no idea that this would be a song that will likely be on my year-end best of list.
Who the hell is Hunter Hayes? All I know is that how I found out about this song is by searching for Darren Hayes’ new album Secret Codes and Battleships on eMusic. There he was, in the “did you mean?” section. (No Darren this time around on eMusic. It must be a different label.) I don’t know what possessed me to click on it – probably just to confirm my suspicion that he was a country artist.
Here’s the thing about “Storm Warning.” This isn’t really country music, or if it is, the dividing line between country music and pop music with a twang has blurred almost to the point that you can’t see it anymore. Although perhaps more than anything, it reminds me of 90s country, which I have a huge soft spot for. In the early 90s, when grunge was all the rage, I really got into country music. That was when I really started buying up Dolly Parton albums, listened non-stop to Reba McEntire’s For My Broken Heart and It’s Your Call and asked for Wynonna Judd’s solo debut for my 20th birthday. That’s how much popular music betrayed me. Now granted, it wasn’t that much of a jump. Country crossover had been pretty common in the 80s and if you pay close attention, my pop music pattern continued in my country music pattern in that I pretty much gravitated toward female artists and nothing else. Garth Brooks didn’t appeal to me in the slightest – “Friends In Low Places” annoyed me because of too many stupid frat boys drunk at bars singing off key to it.
I think I really started to lose my interest in country music right after the 2000 election, when I realized that 90% of the country artists and people listening to country music did not share my politics. I found it hard to support that during those years. As it turns out, many country artists that I am quite fond of turned out to be liberals (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Pam Tillis and Trisha Yearwood, to name a few) but the whole scene really turned me off. Besides, I’d discovered cheesy Brit pop and was working my way through the Kylie back catalog at that point.
All of this is why “Storm Warning” is such an anomaly. But country songs still sometimes do it for me, and this one does. I probably don’t need a whole album of Hunter Hayes, but one song will do just nicely. And believe it or not, even though he looks like he’s the same age as my nearly 10 year old daughter, he’s actually 20. I swear I looked 10 times older than that when I was 20.