D.W. Hayes shows his versatility by writing, producing and recording nearly all of the material from his solo album The World Is Watching. A myriad of roots/classic rock melodies, Hayes attempts to blend together decades of nostalgic tunes and styles. Although Hayes’ sound is familiar, the experience of three prior albums shows with the quality of his writing.
The album starts off with the title track “The World Is Watching.” This gritty and well-produced anthem was a smooth introduction to the style and direction of the rest of the project. Although I couldn’t see myself listening to this on a train, the repetitive nature of the chorus and intense electric guitar makes this a perfect jam out piece.
Up next is “I Will Forgive You,” a slowed down song accompanied by Vancouver jazz musician Natasha D’Agostino. The duet nature of this song allows the listener to accompany Hayes on his journey to forgiveness. Continuing on this smooth and slow trend, “I Won’t Break” also includes D’Agostino. This is my favorite song on the album due to its raw and emotional authenticity..
Amping up the pace, “Always Brings Me Home” begins to set the tone for the rest of the album. With a catchy piano melody and fun tempo, this piece is a nice refresher for the classic-rock era. The next few songs begin the upbeat and more gritty style we saw in the introduction track. The final piece “I’m The Rock That Rolls You Down” is edgy and acoustically stylish. With intense guitar riffs and distorted vocals, this song is a perfect closer to a well-rounded album.
Overall the production and writing of the album was great. The style and sounds can become a bit repetitive, but all in-all this a solid rock album with a classic feel.
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