Erik Hartley is one of the greatest singers of all-time! Well, okay maybe not of all-time, but certainly in recent years. His album Roll Out of Bed is a masterpiece of eclectic styles that complement his soulful voice and well-crafted lyrics. It’s the type of album that’s ready to skyrocket up the Billboard charts, and that is no exaggeration! His voice is stunning to say the least. If girls are crazy about Bruno Mars, then they are going to be head over heels when they listen to Hartley. The heat that radiates off of his sheer charisma could melt the icecaps.
His song “Kisses in the Rain” is evidences enough of that. With vocals as smooth as velvet and sensual lyrics that could give Barry White a run for his money, this song was made for the perfect romantic night. Perhaps what most gives Hartley his “it factor” is the incredible amount of soul that he carries in his voice. While he seems the most comfortable singing in the pop/rock genre, he has the vocal talent of a veteran R&B singer. In the song “Miss You,” he sounds like a man raised on Motown. His voice is soulful and full of unfiltered raw emotions. While every one of the songs off of Roll Out of Bed features superb vocals, it’s the song “So Much More” that truly lets Hartley’s voice shine. It’s an acoustic ballad a bit in the style of Jack Johnson. Not only does this song set the focus on Hartley’s soulful vibes, but also it allows his voice to truly soar.
The music of Roll Out of Bed is an eclectic mix. The songs “Let Me Be” and “So Much More” feature acoustic melodies that while simple, add a much need layer of intimacy. Other songs like “Not Yet” and “Cant Stay for Dinner” reach back a couple decades for some authentic 90’s vibes. Melodically they are on par with tracks release at the time by Third Eye Blind and Train. “Cant Stay for Dinner” in particular is rich with hook-laced melodies. If any song off of Roll Out of Bed is more deserving of shooting up the charts, it’s this song. Just one listen and you’ll immediately know why this song has “single” written all over it. If pop/rock ballads aren’t your thing, don’t worry. The song “Miss You” captures the spirit of gospel, “I Know (Selfishness)” dips into the reggae pool, and “Blue Whiskey” features and utterly fantastic blues guitar solo. There’s something for everyone on Roll Out of Bed.
The lyrics featured throughout Roll Out of Bed range from raw emotions of love and loss to tongue in cheek lightheartedness. On the deeper end of the spectrum is the song “Not Yet.” This is a song about not being able to move on from someone that has long since moved on from you. It paints the picture of a man attending the wedding of an ex that he’s still very much in love with. As he sees her walking down the aisle, he realizes that he’s not yet ready to let her go. The song is sad yet bitter sweet. The way it’s written it’s incredibly easy to relate to main character of this song. Everyone has there own “one that got away.” On the flip side of the spectrum is “Treehouse.” On the surface this song seems innocent enough. With its lighthearted Jack Johnson vibes and talk of passwords and climbing ladders, it easily conjures up childhood memories. Dig a little deeper though and you’ll find that building a treehouse has never felt so naughty. With lines like “you can nail any wood that you want” and talk of staying the night, it’s easy to get the not so subtle innuendos. This is just a fun little song, and a nice break from some of the heavier songs about heartbreak, like “Not Yet” and “Let Me Be.” This album really creates a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Roll Out of Bed has it all. Erik Hartley has the voice and style of a superstar. He sings songs of passion, emotion and occasionally a bit of tongue in cheek. He’s ready for the big leagues. He’s ready to compete against the likes of Bruno Mars, John Mayer and Train. Bring them on!
Review by Zack Daggy
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)