Editors’ Notes Tyler Ward first grabbed attention by covering tunes by the likes of Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, and Justin Bieber in a series of much-watched YouTube videos. The Colorado-born singer’s debut album, Honestly, finds him performing his own self-composed songs with the same guy-next-door charm that he’s brought to material by others. An unabashed romantic, Ward knows how to turn a phrase smoothly without losing the natural warmth that lies at the heart of his appeal. Honestly has a sonic blend that matches hip-hop beats with pop hooks and acoustic instrumentation, framing lyrics that parse the fine points of love and loneliness. Ward’s ache-tinged delivery and pleasing falsetto light up tracks like “The Way We Are” and “Beginning of a Bad Idea.” He’s equally comfortable with jittery groove tunes (“S.O.S.”), widescreen ballads (“Dashes”), summery R&B confections (“Hoopty Hoop”), and teasing rockers (“Keeping Secrets”). Singer Alex G lends her honeyed vocals to “Falling,” while violinist Lindsey Stirling adds tasty string accents to “Some Kind of Beautiful.” Throughout, Ward carries himself with confidence.

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