Butch Walker – Sycamore Meadows

Butch WalkerBefore I even begin this, please know that I am terribly biased on this album. I’ve been a big fan of Walker since the Marv 3 days…and well, I simply don’t know what to make of this album. This album brings to mind Letters, my least favorite album of his. I like glam Butch Walker. I want eyeliner and glitter and scissor kicks and too much hair wax. I want glam motherfucking rock and roll. The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let’s Go Out Tonights restored my faith in him after Letters, so I’m hoping that after this album, he goes back to that. Honestly, I like the man better with a band. His solo stuff just isn’t my bag I guess.

Anyway, onto the album: First of all, the title. Really, Butch, really? It sounds like a bad teen drama on Fox.

What is this country thing going on? He started it in “Rich People Die Unhappy” on The Rise and Fall, and he continues the trend on this album with “Going Back/Going Home” and even “3 Kids in Brooklyn”. It does have a certain classic rock charm reminiscent of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, especially with the harmonica in “A Song For the Metalheads”. I don’t mind it, it’s just not what I think of when I think of Butch Walker. I guess it’s a good thing that he’s venturing onto other avenues and experimenting, but I think this album will alienate a lot of people who have followed him from the Marvelous 3 days. I mean, every artist changes and grows, and that’s a good thing. But c’mon, at least pop a throw-back track in there. Something to make the old fans rock out and think of where they were the first time they heard the Hey! album.

This is a pretty stereotypical breakup album.  “Here Comes The…”, “Ships In A Bottle”,  and “Passed Your Place, Saw Your Car” are tales of loss, grief, and loneliness. Every album needs a good ballad, and Walker can certainly deliver in that sense.

I think if I was going through a terrible breakup, or was a 16 year old cutter, I would appreciate this album more. Walker is still an amazing lyricist and musician, that I can’t deny, I just don’t like the direction that this album’s going in. It’s just too goddamn depressing for me.

Also, I might just be pissed off that he condones Katy Perry making music. That’s just wrong. I’m sorry Butch, C.

Butch Walker’s Website


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