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  • Karlee Skipper

Review: "About a Boy" - Hunter Hayes

Hunter Hayes’s latest single is a heart-wrenching track about recognizing past mistakes and accepting severe regret. “About a Boy” looks back at a previous relationship where Hayes caused an irrevocable amount of damage to his partner, and the immense feelings of sorrow and regret he is now facing. In hindsight, he would have treated them better, and now he is using this experience to learn from his mistakes. Hayes starts the track with two verses, each painting the scene of his former partner alone in the world. He encourages them to live life to the fullest and meet someone that will make them laugh. Both verses end with him singing alternate variations of the hook: wishing for them to not be “sad about a boy.” After the two initial verses, the remainder of the track contains apologetic lyrics that reveal his deep remorse for his actions. He recognizes that he may not deserve forgiveness, yet he hopes the one he hurt is able to move on and find the happiness they deserve. In the chorus, he conveys this by singing, “There’s a man out there who’ll show you he cares// Ain’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong// He’ll do everything I should’ve done// What I wish I would’ve done// What you deserved all along.” These lyrics demonstrate Hayes taking full responsibility for their relationship ending and reassures his former partner that it was nothing they did. He admits that he did everything wrong, and that they never deserved the pain he put them through. Then, he wraps up the chorus with the meaningful hook, describing this hypothetical new person as, “Someone you can believe in// And never give you a reason to be sad about a boy.” Hayes only has one wish, and it is for their person they hurt to find the happiness he stole from them. The sentiment that they will no longer be sad about a boy, and the manner in which Hayes sings it, is bound the bring tears to the listener’s eyes. It evokes feelings of sorrow and empathy, for both parties. “About a Boy” is an apology to the one he once loved, and he hopes that these words will find them and comfort them.

Hunter Hayes effortlessly blends multiple genres in “About a Boy” by taking the emotional storytelling of country music, and the lively production of pop to create a perfectly crafted indie-pop song that instantly captivates listeners. The song kicks off with a muted guitar and keyboard, along with a light bass that follows the guitar in the background. The production adds light synth sounds that provide an airy element to the track. Instead of transitioning into the chorus, Hayes continues to the second verse where the production picks up the drum beat. After the first two verses, the chorus begins, powered by the chords on the keyboard. Additionally, there are chords being played on the guitar with the drums holding the rhythm. When the third verse begins, the song returns to the production found previously, in the second verse. Toward the end of this verse, the production fades to only the drums, pulling emphasis on the transition back into the lively chorus. After the chorus, the bridge maintains the melody led by Hayes’s voice with the production getting softer to pull focus on the lyrics. In the outro, a subtle banjo is added, providing one final unique addition to the track. Before the song closes out, Hayes adds a guitar solo as the production eases to only harmonizing vocals and airy synth notes. The last thing listeners hear are Hayes’s compelling vocals singing, “don’t be sad about a boy” before the song fades away. “About a Boy” showcases Hayes’s extraordinary ability to take simple instruments and blend them together to create a complex production that astonishes listeners.

Hunter Hayes is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. His music has crossed over multiple genres, and he is skilled in more than 30 instruments. In 2011, he released is self-titled debut album which became massively successful. The album peaked at number 7 on the Billboard 200 Chart and number 1 on the Top Country Albums. The album is certified platinum and includes his most-successful single, “Wanted”. He is the youngest male artist to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs. Additionally, he has been nominated for five Grammy Awards including Best New Artist and won the 2012 CMA Award for New Artist of the Year. He has headlined eight times, and toured as the supporting act for prolific artists such as Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Lady A. His upcoming album, Red Sky, is set for release on April 21, 2023 and, he will start The Red Sky Tour on May 3rd, 2023. Check out his social media to see if he is coming to a city near you!

Written By Karlee Skipper



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