I saw him the other night on Conan and figured that he was going to be a second-rate Ben Folds, but Hutchinson really seems to have some talent. There are some BF leanings, but Hutchinson is much more soulful.
For a white guy, the soul thing is a slippery slope, and rightfully so. Shawn Smith and Happy Chichester have flown under the radar for years, and while Timberlake seems to be genuinely talented, he's also opened the door for Alan Thicke's kid and that bozo from Maroon 5. That can't be condoned in good faith by this asshole. Hutchinson helms the band from the piano, lending a Stevie Wonder meets Joe Jackson at Billy Joel's place in the Hamptons vibe to Sounds Like This. I've suffered through many a white muso passing through his Stevie Wonder phase (usually right after a dalliance with either Roxy Music or maybe Can) and it rapidly becomes the equivalent of the guy who plays acoustic at parties to try and fuck your girlfriend. Even when it's good, you can't help but hate. Or at least I can't.
Hutchinson can sing his ass off, and knows his way around a hook. Guys like him come around every couple years (see: Mike Viola, Jonny Polansky and the aforementioned Mr. Folds) but we rarely see them move even to the level of a Jason Faulkner or Matthew Sweet. The song Rock and Roll is blowing up, and for better or for worse we may see Hutchinson go all Jack Johnson on our ass, or even worse Dave Matthews. He's not as spartan as Johnson, or as wanky as Matthews, but is just as good with a hook. Sounds Like This is crossover enough that I see very big things for Hutchinson in 2009. Given the success of his 2008, the big time certainly seems to loom ominously.
Keep up with all goings-on with Eric at his personal web presence. You can get Sounds Like This there for $8.99 and I suggest you do. Here's a link. Thank me later.