2010 has already been ripe with new artists, but none may be as unique as Capitol Records newcomer Walker Hayes. Hayes has already made a name for himself around Nashville for his distinctive songwriting and solid vocal chops. On his first official release (Wax Paper Cups was previously announced as the lead single, but was never actually sent to radio), Hayes delivers just such a performance on “Pants”. “Pants” is a highly suggestive tune in which Hayes happily allows his woman to take full command of his life, in exchange for the physical pleasures of their relationship. This isn’t a particularly new theme, but rarely has an artist approached it with such openness and downright glee (not to mention suggestiveness).
Hayes delivers a strong vocal performance, but the real star here is the melody. The melody fits the playful tone of the lyrics perfectly and really helps sell the song. Lyrically though, the song is a bit of a mixed bag. There is definitely some clever stuff here, my particular favorite being “She can crack the whip like Indiana Jones”, but the lyrics also produce a few clumsy rhymes. Hayes tries to rhyme “forty” and “shortly” as well as “holler” and “off her” and both fall short of the mark. Ultimately the lyrics serve their purpose, to sell this playful novelty song, but aside from a few clever lines, there’s nothing overly memorable about this tune. It’s hard to believe that a song this suggestive is going to be a big hit at radio, but stranger things have certainly happened, and Hayes is certain to gain recognition for leading off with this song. Capitol Records has had a very successful 2010, and the label seems to be behind Hayes all the way, so his career trajectory will be interesting to follow.