Chances are you know Tyler Hilton for something other than music, although Forget the Storm is actually his third full-length release. Many people know Hilton for his role as musician Chris Keller on One Tree Hill, or as young Elvis in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line (he does look the part, doesn’t he?) But he doesn’t just play a musician on TV or the movies; Tyler Hilton is a singer/songwriter in real life. And gauging from this album, a damn good one, at that.
Hilton’s acting roles have put him on the radar of popular culture, but I think it may have also caused him to be a bit underrated as a musician—and that’s a shame, because he’s really, really good in that role. This isn’t an actor trying to be a rock star; musically speaking, Tyler Hilton is the real deal.
If I’d heard Forget the Storm without knowing Hilton’s resume, I’d still have picked up the record for the music alone. Solidly crafted songs, catchy hooks, powerful instrumentation, and Hilton’s slightly raspy voice make this album a great listen front to back. High points on the record (for me, anyway) are the rocky “Loaded Gun,” the radio-friendly “Prince of Nothing Charming” and the ballad “Can’t Stop Now.” But really, I enjoyed pretty much every song on this record.
Typical of many pop offerings, the lyrics occasionally fall into clever cliché—for example, in the tune “You’ll Ask For Me”: “I am what you see / I am not what they say / But if I turn out to be / Will you love me anyway?” But with Tyler Hilton singing it, you’ll totally forgive the occasional fluff. (If I can do it, you can do it.)
Tyler Hilton didn’t start out as an actor, but as a singer/songwriter, releasing his first record (self-titled) years before One Tree Hill even started shooting. Forget the Storm reminds us, once and for all, that Tyler Hilton is a serious musical artist. Whether this record will chart remains to be seen, but it deserves to.
ALBUM RATING: 4 stars (out of five)