Tyler Hilton’s major label debut, The Tracks Of, is a
well-crafted collection of 11 original songs that introduces Hilton
as a talented young artist with a bright future ahead.

The 20-year old native of Palm Springs, Calif., plays acoustic
and electric guitar, piano and sings on the record, and it is his
weathered vocals that initially capture the attention of the
listener. A combination of a growling John Mellencamp and a sincere
John Mayer, Hilton’s voice adds a unique stylistic element to
his songs that makes him identifiable among the masses of emerging
singer/songwriters.

The lead single “When It Comes” is a catchy song
that begins slowly with an acoustic guitar riff and Hilton’s
melancholy vocals singing “I study up my hollow / piece of
wood to follow / A day that doesn’t come to the lucky.”
The verse builds to a very energized chorus with Hilton belting out
“I’ll let you know / When it comes / When it comes /
I’ll let you know / But don’t stay up for me /
Don’t wait up for me if I’m not home.”
“When It Comes” continues in that fashion, alternating
from folk-acoustic verses to high-energy chorus breaks that give
the song a great texture.

All of Hilton’s songs are introspective and thematically,
the songs on The Tracks Of are centered on love and romance with
the exception of a few. One such exception is the fourth track on
the album entitled “Rolling Home,” which is written
about life on the road and traveling on a tour bus. “Rolling
Home” is a lyrical standout on the The Tracks Of, although
the entire album is very impressive lyrically. Hilton’s
hit-writing ability is apparent on upbeat, radio-friendly tracks
such as “Pink and Black” and “Kiss On.”

The last two tracks on The Tracks Of, “Insomnia” and
“Picture Perfect” have a completely different feel than
the previous songs and showcase Hilton’s musicality and
versatility. “Insomnia” features Hilton on the piano,
and a very pretty and gloomy vocal line that brings to mind Ben
Folds and Chris Martin. “Picture Perfect” is the last
song on the album and the sole track produced by Hilton himself. It
is a simple and sincere song, only supported by a finger-picked
acoustic guitar, and a stripped-down production that gives it a
very personal feel, as Hilton’s vocals on this track are
especially striking and emotional.

Tyler Hilton’s major label debut The Tracks Of is a great
first album, demonstrating his instrumental talents, songwriting
ability and musical versatility over 11 original tracks that reveal
his wide range of capabilities and show incredible promise for his
career ahead.

 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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