My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Wade Hayes – ‘Go Live Your Life’

go live your lifeCancer survivor Wade Hayes has released his first project since announcing his recovery.

The title track draws on his experiences facing mortality, and is a fine song about seizing the moment, but the production, while not overwhelming, is a bit heavy handed in places for my liking. Bookending the album is the similarly themed ‘If the Sun Comes Up’, in which Wade contemplates the reaction of his loved ones if he died.

‘Love Knew Better’ is potentially rather charming, but a tune and arrangement very reminiscent of the McCarters’ 1989 hit ‘Up And Gone’ are smothered by the mix – as are the lyrics, which seem to tell the story of a thwarted wedding.

The production is also slightly too loud on ballad ‘She Is Home’, a sweet tribute to the protagonist’s wife, but it is saved by a nice sincere vocal. ‘Here And Her’ is a sad and pretty ballad about coping in the aftermath of a broken heart, but once more a more striped down production would have let it shine more. ‘Wrecking Ball’ is just not very interesting.

Much better, ‘Bluebonnet Blues’ has a lovely old fashioned slow western swing feel, while ‘Let You Go’ is a beautiful lost love ballad with a relatively restrained arrangement.

Another highlights is the amusing ‘Remember The Alimony’, which as the title suggest is a jaundiced warning against repeat attempts at marriage:

Once upon a time she was Mrs Right
Then she took all you had

Remember the alimony
The high cost of matrimony
Before you plan another ceremony

‘Old Dirt Road’ is a lovely memory of a rural childhood the protagonist was all too keen to leave behind, but views in a different light with mature eyes.

There are some good songs here, and Wade is in good voice, but the production is too often heavy handed and obtrusive.

Grade: B-

One response to “Album Review: Wade Hayes – ‘Go Live Your Life’

  1. luckyoldsun March 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I thought Hayes was right up there with Mark Chesnutt and Aaron Tippin as the best mainstream, hard-core honkytonk singers of the ’90s. Seemed he came on the scene a bit too late to become a core radio artist, like Chesnutt was and Tippin almost was. The style was already starting to go out of favor, though Hayes had a big hit with “Old Enough to Know Better.” I was sorry he got sick. I’d definitely like to hear his new music.

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