Single Review: Hunter Hayes, "I Want Crazy"

Hunter Hayes I Want CrazyHunter Hayes just scored a decently big pop hit with “Wanted”, which was initially his first big country hit.  Perhaps that's why he's taking a cue from the pop market, and re-releasing his first album in an expanded edition called (Encore) this summer.

That set will include a guest appearance from Jason Mraz, so it's easy to think that musically, he might start taking his cues from the pop scene as well.   But “I Want Crazy”, the lead single from the expanded set, indicates that there's no need to jump t

o that conclusion so far.

If anything, “I Want Crazy” is insanely derivative of Golden Road-era Keith Urban,  full of ridiculously catchy banjo riffs and melodies so light and breezy they practically float away.   Not surprisingly, his lyrics haven't matured much, so even this new song's charm is mostly adolescent, a fact all the more remarkable given it is co-written by Lori McKenna.

But as I've written before, he's got the chops.  If he keeps his feet firmly grounded in country music and keeps developing his songwriting craft, he could develop into quite the artist.  For now, we have to settle for some radio filler that's worth cranking up the volume for.

Written by Hunter Hayes, Lori McKenna and Troy Verges

Grade: B




  1. I can see the Keith Urban comparison. Re the lyrics, as you said about Chris Young, I guess Lori McKenna’s got to pay the bills too. Nothing wrong with that but I don’t think I’ll buy this song.

  2. Hunter Hayes is a lot like doing a shot at the bar. You obviously don’t hate the alcohol served in the shot or else you’d just not drink it. However, it isn’t that good either and so you take it quickly, in small amounts and follow it with a chaser.

    See, I actually enjoy this song for the catchy pop love tune that it seeks to be. It gets my toe tapping a little and has a certain cute, yet small lyrical value. I don’t enjoy it that much though. Since it is marketed as country, I need follow it with a chaser: something by Keith Whitley, Vince Gill, Randy Travis, etc. If songs like this stayed on pop radio and weren’t branded country I do think I’d enjoy it that much more.

    If my analogy stinks than so be it because Jason Aldean’s music does too.

    Now for the chaser…
    It ain’t cool to be crazy about you, it ain’t suave or debonair to let you know I care…

  3. Wow – didn’t hear the Urban resemblance until now, but you’re right. It’s a mix between that and Rascal Flatts’ early (and good) stuff.

  4. This one starts off so well, but the chorus fell flat for me. It’s a song I’ll listen to on the radio, maybe sing along with, but I won’t buy it. Still, it’s a lot better than most new country releases and I will continue to keep a close eye on Hunter Hayes. I just get the feeling that one of these days he’ll release something phenomenal.

  5. It’s hard to compliment Hunter’s work without me being written off as just some young musically ignorant girl who likes him for his looks and what not, but I gotta say, Hunter’s musical prowess isn’t something to be taken lightly. I will completely agree his music has definitely got plenty of pop influence, however it’s also got quite a bit of blues and rock & roll mixed in, though maybe not so much in “I Want Crazy” in particular. However it’s much more refreshing to hear music of this caliber and quality coming from an up-and-comer like him than songs such as “1994” and “Boys ‘Round Here” from these big name guys with a huge influence on the listeners of today’s large market country radio. Although I’d always be in favor of more honest to goodness country coming from Nasville, that’s pretty much a lost cause (I find what I need in Texas/Red Dirt country) and I’d happily take what Hunter Hayes is offering to the musical community and support his career over another atrocious “Get your _____ on” song by someone with too much fake twang.

Comments are closed.