The Critics Corner

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By Maura Harwood

Who: Matt Hires
For fans of:  Rob Thomas, matchbox twenty, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Marc Broussard, Josh Hoge
Album name:  Forever (EP)
Rating:  4 out of 5

Valentine’s Day may have just ended, but that does not mean that those sugary sweet love songs have to go away anytime soon. If you’re looking for your fix of sugar-coated goodness, look no further than the new EP released by singer-songwriter Matt Hires.

You may recognize Matt Hires’ voice from various television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and more. His first single “Honey Let Me Sing You A Song” was featured on the soundtrack for the film When In Rome.

Hires’ new EP Forever is nothing short of a happy mix of upbeat melodies and feel good lyrics. Fans will appreciate the simple acoustic feel that the EP provides, as it is paired perfectly with Hires’ rough yet melodic voice.
Songs like “Forever” and “Sound of Falling In Love” are reminiscent of the sounds of OneRepublic and Matchbox 20. With driving drums and catchy lyrics, the songs demonstrate all the workings of a great pop song.

“Forever,” the title track, specifically caught my ear. As a music fan, I appreciate songs that help me to forget about life for a little while. “Forever” sounds like the kind of song that one might blast in their car, windows down. You can almost hear a stadium full of people yelling back the lyrics. Hires seems to know who his audience is, and what his audience likes, and he does a darn good job of delivering exactly that.

“Sound of Falling In Love” is exactly what it proclaims to be: the sound of falling in love. If you could sum up in experience such as this in a few choice notes and words, it would be this song. It is quite simply beautiful.

Even the slightly more laid back tune “Signal in the Sky” keeps an upbeat tempo and evokes the same sort of feeling of pure, cheesy happiness that only music such as this can evoke. It has a catchy beat, a sweet melody, and even sweeter lyrics. It’s relaxing and quiet enough to be a perfect study track, while still forcing you to listen to the beautiful story that it tells.

My personal favorite is the song and single “Restless Heart.” The song sounds like a happy, folky love song, (think Mumford and Sons) however the lyrics tell a different story. “Everyone’s looking for love, looking for something to hold on to. Oh, I’ve been looking for 25 years and I know I won’t find it in you,” sings Hires.

Biting phrases such as this make for a saucy and forward song that makes you want to high five Hires for writing such lyrics. Anyone who has experienced a breakup or any sort of heartbreak will appreciate the feeling that not only are they not alone, but that they have a few choice words to use for revenge. I could not possibly say enough about how much I love this song.

Check out Forever on iTunes and Spotify and check out Matt Hires at matthires.com!

Video:  Signal in the Sky

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