Our musician-idols mature and we stubbornly refuse to grow with them—it’s easier that way. We can persist with the delusion because our heroes typically indulge us, but Hayden’s having none of it. ‘Grow up,’ he’s telling us, and there are no excuses this time. We all daydreamed he was signing about us, before; on Us Alone, he’s actually singing at us (see: “Almost Everything”). And here we thought Everything I Long For would lead to self-realization.
Us Alone isn’t all rants on old age, marriage and kids, of course, but there’s enough of it to label this a departure in tone (granted, the album’s best track—a duet with Lou Canon in the vein of the Fembots’ “The City”—is about an awkward hookup). These stories are “not about young lovers,” Hayden tells us right away; they’re about sacrifice—struggling to find time to do what you want, while driving your baby around the city to put it to sleep.
Time to decide, then: do you spurn or embrace this new Hayden? Love the whole Hayden or live in the good old days? Grow up or cling to the past? Hayden made his choice.
Check out Us Alone’s “Rainy Saturday” down below.