From what I can remember, there has never been a Tyler Hilton song that I didn’t like. His latest album, “Forget The Storm” is no exception; all ten songs are my favorite. If you’ve been following the career of Tyler Hilton for as long as I have, you know how hard he has been working on putting out a new album. After much anticipation for a third album, Tyler decided to put out the album himself, on his own label, Hooptie Tune Records. The wait was well worth it and may just be his best album to date.
Tyler Hilton makes being a well-known actor and musician look extremely easy, even when he does both at the same time. Tyler got to incorporate his love of both in many different roles, he even got to play his idol, Elvis Presley in Walk the Line. Tyler Hilton became a household name when he became a regular on One Tree Hill in its second season. He played a character nothing like himself, but the character let him showcase his music to thousands of viewers week after week. He took his character out of town to go on tour, which the show turned into a real tour with co-star Bethany Joy Lenz and special musical guests The Wreckers. Most nights sold out and it was like Tree Hill coming to life.
Following the One Tree Hill tour, Tyler Hilton joined Jesse McCartney on tour in 2005. This was the first time I saw Tyler Hilton. I remember how excited I was when I got to the venue and found out he was the opener. My mother decided that it was appropriate to tell him that I hated him for breaking up Nathan and Haley. I was mortified and I quickly corrected her in front of him that Chris Keller was just a character. A few months later, he played in my hometown arena as main support for Hilary Duff, along with Teddy Geiger. It wouldn’t be another five years until I saw him again, on tour with The Spill Canvas in 2010. It was a really special day, because I was supposed to help him with selling merchandise, but at the last minute they brought someone out on the full tour. It was still awesome because he guest listed me and my friends and we got to interview him.
Keep in mind that this was the second time that I had ever missed an episode of One Tree Hill during its original air date. It was also the night we found out we were getting a season 8, which was supposed to be its last. We discussed how crucial it was that Chris Keller returned for the finale, but at the time he was focusing on making his new album. After changing labels, and album titles, two years later we have “Forget the Storm.” And lucky for us, One Tree Hill lived on to see a season 9, which Tyler Hilton as Chris Keller got to perform numerous tracks off of his new album throughout the finale season.
The first few songs off of “Forget the Storm,” have ties to Chris Keller and One Tree Hill. While the rest of the album lets Tyler shine and stand out as a singer-songwriter all on his own.
Tyler performed “Kicking My Heels” and “Prince of Nothing Charming,” early on in season 9. “Prince of Nothing Charming” was also released as the first single off of the album. Tyler’s signature raspy voice is put to use in “Kicking My Heels,” and it is a great lead off for the beginning of the album. Tyler has a rock acoustic sound, and the sound comes to light in “Prince of Nothing Charming.”
It was really fitting for One Tree Hill’s music department to use “Loaded Gun,” in the first and last episodes of the season. In the season finale, Tyler performed this song, as his character performed at Tric for Tric’s tenth anniversary. It is really fitting because when Tyler originally joined the show, the first time he performed on the show was when his character auditioned to play at the opening of Tric. “Loaded Gun” also has the Elvis influence that his earlier albums had.
“You’ll Ask For Me” isn’t something new for us Tyler Hilton fans. Ironically, on April 3rd, 2007, this song was a featured track on One Tree Hill’s The Road Mix: Music from the Television Series One Tree Hill, Vol. 3. In 2008, he also released a music video for this song. He re-mastered the song and released it on Forget the Storm exactly five years later. Back in November 2011, I flew to North Carolina to see Tyler Hilton perform at one of my favorite venues, The Soapbox. When I heard him say that this song was going to be on his new album, I was ready to buy it right then and there. “You’ll Ask For Me” has always been my favorite Tyler Hilton song and I am really glad he could fit it into his new album.
Starting with “Jenny,” the rest of the album lets Tyler Hilton stand on his own away from his One Tree Hill connection. It’s no secret that Tyler Hilton met his girlfriend, Megan Park, while filming the indie flick, Charlie Bartlett. When Tyler sings, “love is not some f*cking movie,” it makes me wonder if this song was written about her. Either way this is a great song and an awesome fit to “Forget the Storm.”
On Tyler Hilton’s current tour with Dion Roy, he has stated that “Can’t Stop Now” was one of the first songs he wrote for this album. It is a slower than most of the others on the album, but that doesn’t stop Tyler from slamming on his acoustic guitar as he performs it live. “Ain’t No Fooling Me” is a completely different sound than the slow, “Can’t Stop Now.” “Ain’t No Fooling Me,” is a rock song, that like, “Loaded Gun” you can tell Tyler enjoys performing it live just from the way it sounds on the album.
Coming back to the slow sound of this album is “Leave Him,” but instead of it because an acoustic song, Tyler Hilton uses the piano to add variety to the album. The piano really suits his voice and I would like to see him use it more often.
“I Belong,” sounds like a reprise to “This World Will Turn Your Way,” off of Tyler Hilton’s Ladies and Gentlemen EP. While he wouldn’t give up because one day it would be his turn for things to go right, he finally sees that it’s his turn now because he has love to give him a sense of belonging.
The album ends on a high note with “Hey Jesus,” another song that Tyler has been performing since 2007. I like that he picked one of his older songs to end the album with, because it seems to be a celebratory thing. He finally got to make the record he wanted to make with the songs he wanted to use.
“Forget the Storm,” showcases all of Tyler Hilton’s talents. Although, the scrapped songs and other features on what would have been, “The Storms We Share,” would have been a perfect addition to this album, “Forget the Storm” is perfect the way it is. I just hope we don’t have to wait another eight years for his next full length album.