By Emily Wagner
If there’s a class in Nashville called “How to Write a Hook 101” Michael Hardy should be the certified professor.
HARDY has been making his way in Nashville as a songwriter, releasing the occasional EP over the past 3 years. His collaborative project Hixtape Vol 1 was met with huge success, with the hit single “One Beer” climbing the charts and getting a second chance on what will officially call, Hardy’s debut album A ROCK.
You name it you get it on this album. You like Hardy’s country, redneck side? “Unapologetically Country as Hell” will be right up your alley. What about a more sultry, regretful break up song? “So Close” featuring Ashland Craft, will hit you right in the gut. Maybe a pump up, boot stomping show opener? “Where Ya At” will have you looking around for all your best country music loving buds.
Maybe that’s the best part of the album; that Hardy finally has a chance to show who he is. Yeah he likes to have a good time, and can write a pretty creative tune for a song called “Truck.” Then he can take it right back with a song like “Boyfriend” where he admits to wanting to lose that particular title-to upgrade to husband. His ideas are so original sometimes it’s hard to believe these songs haven’t been done before. It’s not hard to find a song about lost love and two people going different directions, but Hardy takes that and turns it into “Hate Your Hometown” where essentially he is telling his ex that he hopes she is so unhappy going back home that it makes her want to turn around and come back.
Regardless of the subject of the song, the album has an overall rock feeling to it. Lots of big drums and guitars, so even when Hardy is processing the loss of a best friend in “Give Heaven Some Hell” it makes you want to cry but yet jam out to the song at the same time.
Hardy saved the title track for last, and from this song you get the best view of who Hardy the songwriter and Hardy the artist is. He weaves the story of life through a rock, from something you skip on the water when you’re a kid to the diamond you buy for you future wife, and finally the rock your name is carved in when it’s all said and done. There is nothing more satisfying as a listener to be entertained and awed by a song and it’s simple but effective story.
There’s no doubt Hardy has found the ability in writing songs, both for others and himself, and this album A Rock seems like a self introduction to who the artist Hardy will be. So as I did last fall when Hixtape was released, I’ll be spending this fall with this album on repeat.