Music review of ‘Smash’ star Megan Hilty’s debut album ‘It Happens All The Time’

Megan Hilty's debut album "It Happens All The Time."

Megan Hilty’s debut album “It Happens All The Time.”

Smash fans will be clamoring to buy Megan Hilty’s debut album It Happens All the Time which hits stores today. Featuring the previously released singles “No Cure” and “Be A Man,” the album is produced by Grammy-winners Andy Zulla and Jimmy Hogarth.

The album has a pop-rock feel to it, something different than Hilty’s musical theatre fans may expect. The songs sound similar to pop artists Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles by featuring the softer side of pop music and often guitar and piano driven.

The title song, “It Happens All the Time,” begins the album with a soft-rock ballad, talking about a breakup that has left her wondering if love does “happen all the time.” The song features several guitars and a steady beat behind the vocals.

A cover of Switchfoot’s “Dare You to Move” closes the album out on a much happier note. The song itself is about moving on, about never giving up, and from Hilty’s bright voice, it sounds as though she will move on from the relationship she sings about in “It Happens All the Time.”

Most of the album consists of pop ballads, over which Hilty’s voice soars, most notably in “The Heart of the Matter.” She makes the Don Henley classic her own with a softer and slower piano-driven arrangement. It is easy to hear Hilty’s emotional connection to the song (perhaps through her own recent breakup with Once star Steve Kazee), as her voice sounds on the verge of breaking throughout.

Hilty also brings her acting skills into several of the songs, angrily belting out the chorus of the painful breakup tune “Be A Man.” The song also beautifully displays her range, with the high and low notes sounding equally incredible.

In her cover of Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter,” Hilty turns the repetitive phrase “I can’t take my eyes off of you” into a loving cry, with a different expression of the lyrics every time it is sung.  Hilty changes the tempo and the notes of the repetitive phrase every time, making the lyric interesting to listen to time and time again. The light band accompaniment allows the listener to focus on Hilty’s emotional vocals in this track.

Other tracks from the album include Hilty’s covers of Aimee Mann’s “Wise Up” and Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound.”

Favorite Tracks: “Be A Man,” “The Heart of the Matter,” “The Blower’s Daughter”

It Happens All the Time is available to stream on AOL Music and can be purchased wherever CDs are sold.

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