Matt Hires' second full-length studio album, 2013's This World Won't Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend, features more of the Florida native's passionate and heartfelt pop. Hires has a knack for crafting hooky melodies that engage you with both lyrical honesty and a warm style of production that leaves room for both electric and acoustic guitars, banjos, and even some tasteful string arrangements. Hires also comes up with concrete imagery that helps ground the grandness of his ideas with a poignant eye for detail. On "I Am Not Here," Hires delves into how people's inclinations toward stereotyping each other keeps them from really knowing one another. He sings "Microwaves and IEDs/Happy Meals and Halloween/Things are getting better..." and "I am somebody's sucker, and somebody's fear/I am somebody's Shakespeare, but I am not here." But Hires isn't just interested in melancholy ideas about alienation in a modern world -- the man is also a lover. Several of the cuts here are sparkling, bright-eyed rockers that soar upon Hires' poetic romanticism. On the aptly titled "The Sound of Falling in Love," Hires croons "I hear the rhythm of the midnight rain/My heart is beating like a bullet train/To the melody in my blood." In some ways, Hires' music brings to mind Fun.'s mythic balladry and maverick, cross-genre defiance. However, on This World Won't Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend, Hires ultimately achieves his creatively inspired ends by remaining rooted in a straightforward, if no less enjoyable, style of singer/songwriter pop.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar