Ryan Hurd ‘Pelago’ Debut Album Review

Peaking from his start as a songwriter in Nashville, Ryan Hurd releases his debut album ‘Pelago’ with high hopes and ambition. ‘Pelago’ is inspired by his time growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan, in collaboration with his longtime friend, Aaron Eshius. Hurd has already coined #1 tracks for award-winning artists like Blake Shelton, Lady A, Tim Mcgraw, and more, and is even climbing charts himself with wife Maren Morris with “Chasing After You”. His debut album, ‘Pelago’, is highly anticipated in the respectable name he’s made for himself in the country music scene. And, within reason, expected to be a hit on October’s new release charts.

The fifteen track album remains strong the whole way through, hitting it off with the brand-new song “Pass It On”, solidifying his sound with rhythm and groove that’s only sure to “pass on” nothing but good vibes and good deeds.

“Pass it on / Pass it on to someone else / What good is your dollar / Or your love / Or your bottle / If you keep it all to yourself / There’s enough to go around / So send it on down / Cause you can’t take it with you when you go”

The album includes the previously appreciated “Chasing After You” with wife Maren Morris, which is currently at the top 10 and climbing. Hurd and Morris first performed the song at the 56th ACM awards, and it hasn’t slowed down since then. The two recently performed it at “Late Night with Seth Meyers” just months ahead of the release of ‘Pelago’.


“June, July, August” follows two recently released songs in the tracklist, already being a favorite amongst fans after debuting on August 28th. Hurd reflects, “I love this song ‘June July, August.’ I’ve written a couple songs for Luke Bryan that ended up being hits, “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” and “Waves.” And this was written with the same two guys that I wrote those songs with and just felt like it was time to keep one for me and I just think this song says endless summer better than any of the other ones I’ve written. So I hope you all love it.”

Just like “June, July, August” guarantees, the album follows the themes of summertime, going out, being in love, and being heartbroken all at the same time. It’s consistency that makes ‘Pelago’ a no-skip album, and his country music references throughout that give us the perfect scenarios to relate to. “Palm Trees in Ohio” takes us all over the states with promises of a great love story, and “If I Had Two Hearts” tears all of that apart without a track in between. It’s the perfect contrast that follows us through heartbreak and healing and guarantees our coming back.


“Tab With My Name On It” takes a darker turn, immediately followed by similarly themed “What Are You Drinking”. The two are carefully placed by Ryan Hurd and his team to fit within the consistencies already set in place with the previous tracks. “Tab With My Name On It” and “What Are You Drinking” delivers the classic country music mix of longing and drinking that we can never say no to.

“I was just wondering / Are you sippin’ on red wine / Thinkin’ of old times / Is it a straight tequila night / Or beer with the girls in a downtown dive / Are you raisin’ up champagne / Is there a tear in your … / Are you heartbroke / Are you doin’ fine / I wanna know / What are you drinkin’ tonight”

Ryan Hurd Pelago

Hurd gives us everything we ever wanted within just fifteen tracks. He picks us up and throws us right back down multiple times throughout, “I Never Said I’m Sorry” is the perfect ‘missing you’ ballad that contrasts from the summer twang of “Hell Is An Island”. Platinum-certified “To A T” hides between the nostalgia of “Every Other Memory” and the well-deserved ending to the album “Diamonds or Twine”. With just eight out of fifteen previously released tracks, Hurd has already gained great attention and praise from Esquire, GQ, Maxim, American Songwriter, Billboard, People, NBC’s “TODAY,” “CBS This Morning” and more.

With such previous achievements already in place at the age of thirty-four, nothing but success is ultimately guaranteed for Hurd and his release of ‘Pelago’.

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