Single Review: Hunter Hayes, “21”

Hunter Hayes 21

Hunter Hayes

Written by Dallas Davidson, Ashley Gorley, Hunter Hayes, and Kelly Lovelace

Back in the days of cassettes, a faulty player would run the tape through a little too fast. It made the beat quicker and the singer’s voice a bit higher.

“21” sounds like Keith Urban album filler played on one of those faulty cassette players.  He’s an Urban LP at 45 speed.

I dig that Hunter Hayes is young enough to actually know what it’s like to party like he just turned 21. I’ll take his impish, aw-shucks enthusiasm over his sullen counterparts any day.

But party songs just aren’t that interesting, and there are too many of them out there right now.

Hayes has got the Urban sound down pat, and his own set of chops that are still being developed. Now that he’s celebrated that youthful feeling, I hope he spends more time looking forward. We’ve got enough man-children populating the radio today.

Grade: C


  1. This one really drags. It feels like the tempo and the lyrics don’t match at all. It feels too big and slow to get me pumped up to party. On top of this, the lyrics are really, really bland. There’s already plenty of these songs. There’s always room for good party songs on my playlists, but we don’t need more mediocre ones like this. It’s not a terrible song, and there’s nothing particularly offensive, but it’s a step backward from Storm Warning or I Want Crazy. C seems about right. It definitely doesn’t excite me for whatever his next project will be.

    Also, I can’t stand the repeat words in the chorus “doin’ it, doin’ it, and losin’ it, losin’ it”. It’s unnecessary and clutters the song more. There have been a lot of songs doing this lately. Maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine, but I say it’s a trend that needs to end.

  2. “Storm Warning” and “I Want Crazy” are two of my favorite singles so far this decade, and “When Did You Stop Loving Me” would have joined them had it been shipped to radio. I don’t love everything Hayes does, but at his best he can craft some very listenable and emotive pop-country.

    That being said, this song is bar none my least favorite song from him. It’s just so stiff and faceless. This YouTube version is actually a bit slowed down, but even the full-speed version hits really weird. It’s pretty obvious this song wasn’t written by Hayes himself, it’s just not for him (or anyone, for that matter).

  3. Again, the first songwriter mentioned says it all.

    Hunter Hayes has seemed to lose much of his forward progress regarding the charts. I’m ok with that. I never bought into his hype.

  4. Does Dallas Davidson have even a microcosm of originality inside of him or is everything he puts out going to be the same myopic, easy money making type of garbage? Dallas Davidson’s material is just a continuation of his last song and might as well be written by the late Sherry Lewis and Lambchop because it seems as if it truly is the song that never ends.

  5. Does Dallas Davidson have even a microcosm of originality inside of him

    To ask such a question is to answer it, IMO.

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