Review

The Tracks of Tyler Hilton is the kind of major-label pop debut that's not heard much in 2004 -- an album that has its eye on middle-American middle of the road, appealing equally to pre-teens and housewives without condescending to either. Hilton isn't a teen-pop idol, nor is he a crooner. He's an unabashed mainstream pop singer/songwriter, blessed with good looks, a lightly husky and appealing voice, a good ear and a knack for pleasing MOR mature pop. It's a sound that would have had found a greater audience in the first Bush administration rather than the second, but that doesn't mean that it sounds dated -- it just means that there are few venues for this kind of well-crafted, highly-polished ear candy in 2004 than there was in 1990, when Richard Marx was a star and Curtis Stigers was an up-n-comer. Hilton is in their league -- a good songwriter, a good singer, creating music that's unapologetically designed for the Top 40. Unfortunately, that Top 40 doesn't quite exist anymore, but those that long for a time when pop music wasn't hip or hip-hop, this will satisfy them quite nicely. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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