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Walker Hayes

Walker Hayes – 2010 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Jacquilynne Schlesier

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CDs by Walker Hayes

On his debut, Walker Hayes seems to be aiming for the tongue-in-cheek country rock territory inhabited by Brad Paisley. But without the obvious undercurrent of good humor and genuine affection that softens Paisley's work, he paints a rather grim picture of the state of male-female relations.

Hayes has apparently yet to meet a sexual metaphor he can't put to bad use. It's only four songs long, and from beginning to end, the EP maintains a firm focus on sex. The opening Pants features a controlling shrew for a love interest. But that's okay, because, as the song says, "she can wear the pants, as long as I can take 'em off her."

Kitchen Table opens with a young couple picking up a used table for their new home and putting it to its obvious use, at least as far as these songs go: sex. The relationship goes straight downhill from there - the only good memories that warrant mention are sexual.

Cherry Stem is about a skilled manipulator using a man only for her own pleasure.

To close things out, Naked aims for a little more depth. Nakedness is used as a metaphor for baring souls instead of bodies. Hayes contends that "there's more to love than just the way we make it," but that stands in marked contrast to the actual content of the album.