Sunday, March 15, 2009

Butch Walker - The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let's Go Out To Nites

It certainly is quite the title. In 2006, coming off what was possibly the best recording of his career (Letters) Butch Walker returned with a different musical offering featuring the Let’s Go Out To Nites.

The Rise and Fall… was recorded after Butch had taken some time off from recording music in order to produce. 2006 found him back in the studio and this was the end result. The disc kicks off with an excellent opening track, Hot Girls in Good Moods. The song begins with a cool piano twill riff that leads into the heavy guitar, which segues into Butch’s vocals.

Ladies and Gentlemen…”The Let’s Go Out Tonites!” is a funk filled fun ride that leads the listener through good times and grand memories of days past. The groove is catchy, the lyrics are cool, and the song is excellent; perhaps the best on the disc.

We’re All Going Down is the biggest disappointment on the record. It was meant to be the grand ballad of the disc; slow, powerful, and full of pain to make you think, this song did not deliver the goods. I appreciate the try, but the rhythm section never seems to get along with the strings, and Butch’s voice is trying to keep up with the song. It was not a pretty combination.

Packed with funky piano, guitar changes, and delivering a more rock blues style than ever before, The Rise and Fall… is a more experimental album for Butch Walker. He leaves behind a lot of the heavy/hard rock sound that he played for years both in his solo career and with the Marvelous 3. The sound is exchanged for this blues/funk rhythm. Butch makes it work. While the sound is a departure from what made him so great, the album is still worth the investment.

It does take some time to appreciate this newer sound, but once approved, the songs stick in your head and just won’t leave, like a holiday guest who’s decided to stay past Valentine’s Day.

With recurring messages of partying, looking for love, enjoying life, and living like a youngster, The Rise and Fall… is a fun disc with themes of having a good time.

While not as good as Letters, this is still a pretty solid album. Navigating through the new sounds, horns, keyboards, and styles that are new territory for Butch Walker fans is what takes the longest to appreciate. This record does earn its place in Butch history though and deserves a solid position on the mantle.

Ryo’s Rating: 7 out of 10

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