CD Review of The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let’s Go Out Tonites by Butch Walker

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The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker
and the Let’s Go Out Tonites
starstarstarstarno star Label: Epic
Released: 2006
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With each passing album, Butch Walker seems to reinvent himself. And with all of his success as a producer, dude doesn’t even need to write songs and record them anymore. But then of course, there is the fact that Walker has a legion of devoted fans along the East Coast and Midwest that would have fits if he ever stopped recording his own music. So here he is again with his latest, under the moniker Butch Walker & the Let’s Go Out Tonites, The Rise and Fall of….

Fans of Butch’s work with Marvelous 3 and as a solo artist over the past five years or so might find themselves missing the guitar-driven edge and some of the outlandishly wiseass lyrics they’ve come to know and love. Instead, Walker has toned down some of the guitars and added a touch of swing to this project. Think of it as Brian Setzer-infused Butch Walker. But one thing doesn’t ever change, and that’s the fact that Butch has a knack for writing pop tunes that you can’t ever get out of your head. Never is that more evident than on the title track, “Ladies and Gentleman…The Let’s Go Out Tonites,” or on most of this solid new set of music.

“Hot Girls in Good Moods” and “Bethamphetamine” have some of those crunchy guitars but less of the alternative grit of projects past. Then there is the dark, brooding track “We’re All Going Down” and the Ben Folds-ish piano ballad, “Dominoes,” both of which show the softer side of Walker and what he is capable of as a singer and songwriter. “Paid to Get Excited” and “Song without a Chorus” have more of the swing flavor, and “The Taste of Red” is a breezy throwback to Walker’s days with Marvelous 3. And “When Canyons Ruled the City” has an anthem feel to it ala “Hey Jude,” and is a perfect choice to close out the album.

Admittedly, it’s going to take you Walker Stalkers a while to warm up to this record, but after a few listens it’ll warm you up like a shot of Jack Daniels on a chilly day. As a whole, this just might be one of Walker’s best efforts as a writer, even if it’s not some of his most rocking material. And for a man as busy as he is, it’s amazing he even finds time to write music these days. But the fact that he does is a bonus for those of us who think the man is, well, the MAN.

~Mike Farley