May 15, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Closer I Get

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Hayden
Producers
Outpost
genre
Rock
We gave it a B+

Low on energy and originality, Hayden’s major-label ’96 debut hardly seemed worth the hype. His second album, The Closer I Get, though, is a marked improvement. Songs about teaching his girlfriend to play guitar or regretting petty arguments are so pretty they’ll break your heart, and deft production touches bolster his occasionally too-listless voice. With his Canadian background, lonely-guy tremble, and genuine weirdness, Hayden sounds like a perfect playmate for Neil Young and his Lionel trains. B+

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