Wade Hayes

When the Wrong One Loves You Right – 1998 (Sony)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

CDs by Wade Hayes

Wade Hayes shot out of the box on his debut, hitting the top. The follow-up CD wasn't as successful with the songs not quite as strong, but here he regains his form. That's evident from the lead-off title track with Hayes' trademark baritone spurring the song, complete with fiddle from Larry Franklin and good guitar lines.

Hayes honky tonks it up the most on "Tore Up From the Floor Up," the original title cut, and Hayes follows the advice of the title. Ditto for "Are We Having Fun Yet," which he had a had a hand in writing.

But he balances that off with a bunch of ballads showcasing the tenderness of his vocal delivery (the well-written single "The Day that She Left Tulsa (in a Chevy)," "One More Night With You" and "This is My Heart Talking Now"). Hayes shows a growing vocal maturity that places the focus on his voice, filled with emotion without oversinging. Don Cook has produced another strong album integrating Hayes' performance with ace studio musicians into usually making the songs come alive save for the usual problem of too much drums.

This cohesive outing from sings to songs to playing demonstrates why Hayes' beginning success was no fluke.