Almost everywhere I notice Joe’s name I see him tagged as a country artist but on the strength of If The World Was A Small Town I’d have to say that pop-rock is the more appropriate label here. But that just shows you the limitations of genres, especially for an artist who wants to push boundaries and explore various musical fusions. But for now pop-rock is the way to go I think…in the same way that Bryan Adams was back in his breakthrough days, enough weight to satisfy the denim jacket brigade, enough melody to catch the ear of the mainstream. It’s a neat trick if you can do it and boy can Joe Hanson do it.
Break the song down and you can see just why it works so well. The simple but gruff lines of a signature rock guitar, textured and teased with soaring lead riffs and peripheral details. A hook as infectious and memorable as anything that you have heard in the pop oeuvre for many a year, relatable lyrics and a confident and clear voice. I’d say that he has it covered…and then some.