Release Date: Nov 11, 2008
Record label: R.E.D. Distribution
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Alternative
He's a thoughtful songwriter, at times intensely autobiographical -- particularly during "Going Back/Going Home," an acoustic crash course in Butch Walker's career -- but also attentive to the characters who populate everybody's lives, from the cute urban girl who works "at American Apparel, selling women's clothes to guys" to the overly stylized, disparaging hipster who "always wears a sweater even in the warmest weather. " Such humor runs the risk of sounding holier than thou, but Walker's judgment is too tuneful to be condemning -- and often, he revels in the very scenes that his songs critique, training an accusatory light on himself as well as his subjects. Elsewhere, Sycamore Meadows gets personal with a number of breakup songs, the best of which -- a sad nugget of boozy blues named "Here Comes The" -- features background vocals from P!nk.
Some of us fans wonder why Butch Walker hasn’t become a major star. Walker’s street smarts and deep emotional intelligence ooze out of his Southern charms making him the thinking man’s Tom Petty. Walker’s adept way of creating epic, literate, rock and roll story songs about everyday life makes him the Georgia Bruce Springsteen. Walker’s grandiose and sordid tales of glam and drugs make him the American David Bowie.
Poor Butch Walker. In the past few years, the former Marvelous 3 frontman’s production and songwriting efforts for superstars like Pink and Fall Out Boy have garnered scads more attention than his own good-to-great solo work. Factor in his house burning down last fall, and you totally understand why he sounds a little glum on a good deal of this ballad-heavy album.
Accomplished singer/songwriter starts from scratch on autobiographical albumButch Walker has been through a lot, and he tells us so at length on his latest solo album. The former Marvelous 3 frontman lost his Malibu home—including his studio and master recordings—in last year’s wildfires. So it’s an ideal time to simultaneously start over and glance back, which Walker does on Sycamore Meadows, trading the glammy style of his prior solo work for competent, traditional radio rock.