Jason Michael Carroll, "Hurry Home"

83 Billboard Rating

The second single from Jason Michael Carroll's second Arista album, "Growing Up Is Getting Old," is a poignant ballad written by Zane Williams about a divided family. The lyrics are sung from the perspective of a father who leaves an outgoing message on his answering machine, urging his runaway daughter to come home. It's a well-written tune, and although the subject matter is heartwrenching, Carroll's vocal performance isn't maudlin. Instead, he offers a subtle, thoughtful delivery that brings out each nuance of emotion in the lyric. At the risk of giving away the ending, it's a resolution likely to make the listener smile through tears. Carroll's voice has a worn, lived-in timbre that works especially well on this compelling ballad and should help draw further attention to his impressive debut album. --Deborah Evans Price