Let’s flash back to 1996…or 1997. I’m in college at the time, and on this particular night at a small club in Columbia, South Carolina named the Elbow Room checking out the Drag from Myrtle Beach. They put on a pretty good show but weren’t quite as grand as I had hoped. (Not the Southern Oasis.) My friends and I were about to leave but I was like, “Let’s check out this other band’s first song and if they’re no good we’ll go.” The lead singer comes out on the stage, hits a massive power chord and grins at everyone with a menacing look. We stayed for the show, and after that I guess I saw the Marvelous 3 seven or eight more times over the years. That singer was, of course, Butch Walker.
This is Walker’s fifth release as a solo artist and through the years his overall production style has been shifting with each release from rock n’ roll to pop n’ roll. I mean, he’s always known a hook and nothing has changed here. While some of his lyrics have always irked me, it’s also something that makes Walker endearing as he’s obviously a master of his craft that doesn’t take himself too seriously and has fun going to work. I envy that and would love to one day go to work with Butch.
My favorite from first listenings of the new disc was definitely “She Likes Hair Bands” which opens with:
She likes hair bands
On satellite radio
But I was in one
So it’s a little too close to home
Hilarious and true at the same time. The album has its fair share of heartbreak, “Someone Should Take You Home” being the best of these, but you’ll also find yourself smiling through the tears. The 60’s piano stylings mixed with the Prince-sounding guitar solo of “They Don’t Know What We Know” is a new twist on the love affair while “Fixed Gears and Broken Parts” features some damn fine finger snapping over Butch pining away for an old love who now has a man that “quotes books from your apartment that he’s never read.” Those one liners are great and I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart is full of them. There’s also the opening “Trash Day” that hates on the rich MILFs, “young Christian men,” and another one that got away.
Michael Trent is the Black Widow who is billed as co-writer/lyricist for all the tracks but Butch fans won’t notice the addition. Although not included on this album, check out Walker’s recent cover of Taylor Swift’s hit “You Belong With Me.” You can find that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOQAjsi0YQA.
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