• Caleb Long

"One Shot" is New Territory for Hunter Hayes


By the time Hunter Hayes was a household name, he was certainly no stranger to the musical spotlight. He was a bit of a local celebrity in his home town at the tender age of 5 for his prowess on the accordion, and even shared the stage with Hank Williams Jr. on one occasion. He was still only nineteen when he made an impression on country radio with his top forty hit, “Storm Warning”, for which he recorded every instrument on the release (he did leave the accordion at home for this record, however). He’s graced the country radio with his tenor vocals and pop-leaning-but-original style several times since then. He has not come out with a full album since his 7 song album, 21 Project, which featured the Lady Antebellum collaboration, “Where it All Begins,” but he has come out with several singles in the past year that have been marketed together.

His most recent single, “One Shot,” is a decidedly more mature topic for him. “More mature than all the love songs he’s written?” you ask. Yes, because you can fall in love at 19, but you cannot roll up to a bar and turn 1 shot into 5 at 19 unless you know the guy who can get you a fake ID. Yes, Hunter Hayes has released his first single that is straight up about getting hammered, and I must say, it’s quite genius. He asserts that he is no longer a 19 year old with this drinking song, but he draws in the millennial crowd from the first phrase, which is “hashtag no filter.” He also mentions what his mom would think of his actions, references “insta”, and apologizes to an uber driver all in the first verse.

In the chorus he drives home the theme of the song by telling his listener not to judge because it’s his life, and cleverly manipulates the phrase “One Shot” to essentially say “you only live once, so you might as well do a shot or two.” The now 26 year old was clearly trying to create a drinking song that is relevant to the newest members of the legal drinking club, and he has done so beautifully. Besides the clever lyrics throughout, the production is fun and lively with a memorable melody and contagious hook. I’d like to see this song do well, and I have no trouble at all forseeing it doing so. After all, it does give college kids one more reason to drink, which they will never turn down. This single is definitely a win for Hunter Hayes. My only true criticism is, could use more accordion.


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