Hunter Hayes, ‘Invisible’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]
Hunter Hayes debuted his new single ‘Invisible’ at the 2014 Grammys on Sunday night (Jan. 26). The impassioned vocal performance is a pep-talk for those who've been bullied, but it also feels like a response to the pages of his own teenage journal. Hayes says the song is very personal, and it shows.
‘Invisible’ isn’t built around a hook or melody that will stick in between your ears like a bubblegum jingle. The wordy first listen to music from his second album is a conversation meant for those hanging their head.
“Crowded hallways are the loneliest places / For outcasts and rebels or anyone who just dares to be different,” he sings to begin after a soft piano introduces him.
As the story continues, little details prove this 22-year-old knows what he’s talking about.
“Every heart has a rhythm / Let yours beat out so loudly that everyone can hear it,” he urges after a powerful chorus that goes: “Trust the one who’s been where you are wishing all that was / Sticks and stones / Those words cut deep but they don’t mean you’re all alone / And you’re not invisible / Hear me out / There’s so much to life than what you’re feeling now / Someday you’ll look back on all these days and all this pain is gonna be / Invisible.”
Hayes is at an interesting point in his life and career. He’s tasted success, but undoubtedly still holds on to teenage (and country newcomer) insecurities. The song feels meant for his reflection in the mirror as much as it does his adoring young fans, but the subtle vulnerabilities only serve to make the lyric a more complex and satisfying expression. Credit Hayes with using the big stage to make a statement. A lesser artist would have seized the opportunity as one to plant a vapid piece of sappy romance.
Key Lyrics: "Hear me out / There’s so much to life than what you’re feeling now / Someday you’ll look back on all these days and all this pain is gonna be / Invisible"
Did You Know?: The Grammys actually called Hayes, asking him to perform this song. That's a strong endorsement for a song the singer says is "about my life as a dorky musician.”
Listen to Hunter Hayes, ‘Invisible’