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Walker Hayes landed in Nashville in 2005, a long 12 years before he released boom. in the last month of 2017. During that stretch of time, Hayes was hardly lazy -- he had a deal with Mercury fizzle and a 2013 album with Capitol go nowhere -- but he didn't catch a real break until 2016, when he signed a publishing and production deal with Shane McAnally, one of the most popular and progressive movers and shakers in the Music City. McAnally picked up on the vague R&B undertones powering Hayes' 2010 debut single, pushing them to the forefront on boom. -- a move that isn't exactly risky in 2017, after Sam Hunt helped popularize the sound of smooth, slick urban rhythms within the context of country. What separates Walker Hayes from his peers isn't just how he takes considerable risks within the confines of this flexible, hip-hop-inflected country-pop, but how he personalizes it. Hayes spends a good portion of boom. playing songs that feel autobiographical, even if perhaps they aren't: it certainly seems as if the down-on-his-luck protagonist of "Halloween" is a reflection of Hayes' struggle, as does the nicely shaded battle with the bottle on "Beer in the Fridge," while "Beckett" explicitly nods to one of his many children. All these songs resonate because their details are finely etched, a gift Hayes extends to the very funny "Shut Up Kenny," where he curses Chesney every time the singer pops up on his radio. Such a sly sense of humor propels a good portion of boom., notably "Dollar Store," where he glides through the cut-rate retail outlet acting like a sugar daddy to his girl by buying her everything she wants, but he can also be seductive, as he is on the simmering "Prescriptions." Here, Hayes also demonstrates quick lyrical turns of phrase, his dexterous delivery finding a match in McAnally's production, which draws from pop, hip-hop, soul, and country in equal measure, creating a record that is disarmingly fresh. It's as slick and clean as a pop record, yet sounds country even if there's nary a twang to be heard. When an album is as distinctive and unpredictable as this, it's bound to sound alarming at first, but boom.'s originality isn't simply flashy, it's bound to a sense of craft that gives the record lasting weight.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/08/2017
Label: Sony
UPC: 0889854832421
catalogNumber: 548324
Rank: 6878


  1. Beautiful
  2. Shut Up Kenny
  3. You Broke Up with Me
  4. Halloween
  5. Dollar Store
  6. Beer in the Fridge
  7. Beckett
  8. Mind Candy
  9. Prescriptions
  10. Craig
  11. Thank You

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Walker Hayes   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Loops,Synthesizer Bass,Beatbox
Paul Franklin   Pedal Steel Guitar
Justin Niebank   Keyboards
Fred Eltringham   Percussion,Drums,Loops
Derek Wells   Electric Guitar
Lee Hendricks   Bass
Tony Lucido   Bass
Kris Donegan   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Ryan Gore   Percussion
Dave Cohen   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Hammond B3
Nicolle Galyon   Background Vocals
Matt McGinn   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Justin Niebank   Programming,Engineer
Drew Bollman   Engineer
Scott Stepakoff   Composer
Shane McAnally   Composer,Producer
A.J. Babcock   Composer
Matt Jenkins   Composer
Ryan Gore   Programming,Engineer
Pete Good   Composer
Kylie Sackley   Composer
Walker Hayes   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Whistle
Katie McCartney   Art Direction
Nicolle Galyon   Composer
Thomas Archer   Composer
Scot Sherrod   Composer
Matt McGinn   Composer
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