Storyline is Hunter Hayes' second major-label studio album which was released on May 6, 2014 by Atlantic Records.
Hunter Hayes revealed in an interview with Billboard that he was "very conscious about" constructing his second album after the success of his debut effort, and that he planned to take his time recording.
By November 2013, Hayes had written more than 60 songs for the album, by which point he "finally" felt ready to narrow it down the songs that best represented what he wanted to say. Ultimately, the track listing ended up consisting of 14 tracks.
While Hayes intended to work with Dann Huff again and play "almost as much" as he did on his previous album, he also wanted to branch out and collaborate with other musicians.
"There's a couple of songs I may even do by myself," he told Billboard in November, "But I'll bring in some collaborators, too, musician-wise. I'll bring in some guys I haven't worked with but wanted to work with."
- Wild Card 3:14
- Storyline 3:27
- Still Fallin 3:44
- Tattoo 3:17
- Invisible 4:32
- ...Interlude 0:54
- You Think You Know Somebody 4:27
- Flashlight 4:48
- When Did You Stop Loving Me 4:28
- ...Like I Was Saying (Jam) 1:42
- Secret Love 3:39
- Nothing Like Starting Over 3:53
- If It's Just Me 3:42
- Love Too Much 4:22
"Storyline" debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with 69,000 copies sold in the United States. As of September 2015, it has sold 190,000 copies in the United States.
"Storyline" garnered generally positive reception from eight music critics. The review aggregator website Metacritic assigns a "weighted average" rating to an album, utilizing selected independent mainstream reviews, and the album has a Metascore of an 80 out of 100 based on four reviews.
Tammy Ragusa of Country Weekly graded the album an "A," observing how "Hunter Hayes has once again produced a collection of music that belies his tender age, not only in content, but in vocal confidence."
At AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album four stars out of five, stating that "Hunter doesn't bother sounding older than his years nor does he care to put on airs: he's a modern-day Southern boy, raised on radio pop played in big box stores and playing the back porch on a Sunday afternoon, and those two strands come together beguilingly on this second album."
Jerry Shriver of USA Today rated the album two-and-a-half stars out of four, writing that "Wide-eyed exuberance, hand-wringing and licking of surface wounds dominate his lyrics, most of them lightweight."
At The Oakland Press, Gary Graff rated the album two-and-a-half stars out of four, saying that "Fortunately, he knows better than to try to solve the world’s problems and instead confines himself to matters of the heart."
Glenn Gamboa of Newsday graded the album a B+, remarking how Hayes "plays that up, hanging his sophomore album on emotional, inspirational anthems and tender love songs delivered in a sweeter, higher register that makes all his songs sound distinctive", which "It's a risk, but the best new artist Grammy nominee seems poised to make it pay off."
At Los Angeles Times, Mikael Wood rated the album three out of four stars, stating that "the album's slickly assured arrangements, those jitters provide a juicy tension" on a release that shows "What's important is that this insider convinces you he's coming from outside."
Markos Papadatos of Digital Journal rated the album four-and-a-half stars out of five, writing that "it is a great CD of relationship storytelling, and his message is inspirational and positive throughout."
At Rolling Stone, Nick Murray rated the album three stars out of five, observing how the release comes "with clean arrangements and twangless vocals that could carry the singer-songwriter beyond country radio altogether."