In his new song 'I Want Crazy.' Hunter Hayes doesn't soar like Ronnie Dunn or croon like Chris Young. His vocal performance is an exercise in diction -- and memory. Simply put, he packs a ton of words into a tight space without straining or slurring one idea into another. It's not easy. 

Often this is a way to cover up mediocre lyrics or rhymes. Listen closely to Hayes' lead single from his upcoming second album and you'll find little of this.

"But I don’t want good and I don’t want good enough / I want can’t sleep, can’t breathe without your love / Front porch and one more kiss / It doesn't make sense to anybody else," he sings to begin the chorus. The frantic pace of 'I Want Crazy' matches what he's looking for. It's a little crazy, but not so much so that one loses interest.

"Who cares if you’re all I think about / I’ve searched the world and I know now / It ain’t right and if you ain’t lost your mind / Yeah, I don’t want easy, I want crazy / Are you with me baby, let’s be crazy," he adds to finish.

Four singles in it's becoming clear that the artist Hayes most closely resembles is Keith Urban, but he's in no danger of being anything less than original. His music is built to cross over, and on on 'I Want Crazy' he displays a new level of confidence. 'Hunter Hayes' was hardly tentative, but when he shouts "I want crazy" during the next-to-last chorus, it's an inspired moment. He proceeds to noodle around with the guitar line before picking back up like a seasoned band leader.

Try listening to the mandolin without tapping a heel or drumming your ink pen against your coffee cup. A garden gnome couldn't do it. 'I Want Crazy' feels like the same drive Hayes began with 'Storm Warning' and continued with on 'Wanted' and 'Somebody's Hearbreak.' He's just found a new gear.

4 Stars

Listen to Hunter Hayes, 'I Want Crazy'

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