Album Review: Walker Hayes - “Country Stuff The Album”

Everyone has heard and knows “Fancy Like” but does the rest of the album showcase an artist with true staying power?

It seemed like maybe Walker Hayes was gonna be relegated to country music’s “one hit wonder” bin when country radio stayed cold to singles after the Double Platinum hit “You Broke Up With Me” peaked in 2018. This despite wonderfully relatable songs on the album from which it came boom.. Undeterred, Walker continued to find his way until a little viral song called “Fancy Like” became the biggest country hit to ever spring from the internet.

That song not only scored Walker Hayes his comeback moment, it also seemingly cemented him into what he was always destined to be: a bankable hit making singer/songwriter. That song also allowed him to grow his Country Stuff EP into a full fledged album of the same name (with “The Album” in the title for some reason).

Country Stuff The Album starts off with honest songs about Walker’s own struggles with the Bottle (he’s currently sober) and “AA” even mentions his struggles at making hits and it’s not at all ironic that the song has become the follow-up hit to “Fancy Like.” A song which could become another hit after that is “Life With You,” a song which brings a familiar bridal melody to back up the romantic lyrics and modern percussive pulse from a guy who didn’t know what love was until he found the one for him.

“Delorean” is all about how songs take us all back in a time machine to memories in our minds. The title is a reference to the time machine in Back To The Future but this song is a clear winning reminder of how songs are their own time machines and that’s what makes songs wonderful things. One of the standout songs from boom., “Craig,” is revisited in a completely different sonic way with special guests MercyMe joining Walker on the song which is ripped straight from his own life.

“Briefcase” features Lori McKenna and tells an all too real story of how paying bills is a necessary evil to keep a family healthy and thriving. It’s an introspective moment and lyrically brilliant (and true). “What You Don’t Wish For” is another introspective song about fighting for your dreams, even if nobody else believes in you as it only takes one person to believe and that person is yourself.

Country Stuff The Album is a strong collection of melodic and lyrically interesting songs and there’s far more introspective lyrics to the album than one would expect from the “humor” songs like “Fancy Like,” “U Gurl” and even “AA” and the collective body of work is another feather in his cap and should suggest an artist worthy or our time and attention.