Can you fall in love with an album or an artist by hearing only one song? The answer for me is a resounding YES!! That happened to me many moons ago when I heard one of the coolest songs I have ever heard. The song was “Not That Cool” by Will Hoge. The song was about me. He reached into my soul and wrote this song just for me. Ok, he didn’t really, but it felt like it was.
Not That Cool” was about a young man that wants to talk to a women but the only problem was he doesn’t feel cool enough to approach her and use a corny line. It was me. I am so not cool and could never have the courage to walk up to a pretty woman and give her a line. I was a little too shy for that. However, I still managed to snag a very beautiful woman and somehow she agreed to marry me. Almost 15 years later, we are still together.
This was the song that introduced me to the amazingly talented, singer, songwriter Will Hoge and the album was ‘Blackbird On A Lonely Wire’. The album came out in 2003 on Atlantic Records and was his 2nd studio release with a major label. After hearing “Not That Cool”, I immediately went out and bought the whole album.
Will Hoge has been described as Americana, Alt. Country with a Southern Rock flair and it fits him perfectly. This album throws in a little pop as well as some blues aspects to various songs. The album flow is wonderful and the songs are well placed.
After the fun of “Not That Cool”, he goes straight into another upbeat song “”Be The One”. The song keeps the energy going with a radio friendly song that sadly I never heard on the radio. Then he slows things down a little with “King of Grey” and brings a little country to the sad feeling song.
Things pick right back up with a Tom Petty sounding song called “Secondhand Heart”. The song style would fit perfect on any Petty album. “Hey Tonight” comes next and adds a little pop back into another very radio friendly song.
“Doesn’t Have to Be That Way” brings a little blues sound mixed with his raspy rock voice and when you hear it you will realize why it is my second favorite song on the album. The song shows off his voice and song writing talents.
“It’s A Shame” has a little darker tone and a nice rock sound to it. A great follow-up to “Doesn’t Have to Be That Way”. Will adds a little piano into another country song called “Someone Else’s Baby”. A great sounding song.
Will Hoge rocks out on the next song “TV Set”. A very fast, fun paced song that will get you moving. I love the way he mixes genres in his songs and from one song to the next. Somehow it works.
“Better Off Now” is another song that has a Petty sound and might be a big reason I like this album as I am a big Tom Petty fan. “All Night Long” goes back to full on rock song and races through with heavy beats and great guitars.
Will changes pace again on the final song “Baby Girl”. He pulls out the acoustic guitar and slows it down with a beautiful ballad. A sweet love song and the longest song on the album at over 5 minutes.
Overall it is a fantastic album and my favorite Will Hoge album mainly because it was my first. If you aren’t familiar with Will Hoge, this is a great introduction. He has over 8 studio albums and numerous extended play and live albums so there is plenty to enjoy. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing him live yet, but I feel it is probably where he shines. I hope you check him out and if you do, let me know what you think.
- “Not That Cool”
- “Be The One”
- “King of Grey”
- “Secondhand Heart”
- “Hey Tonight”
- “Doesn’t Have to Be That Way”
- “It’s A Shame”
- “Someone Else’s Baby”
- “TV Set”
- “Better Off Now”
- “All Night Long”
- “Baby Girl”