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Album Review

Back in 2002, Butch Walker made a record for Arista that placed him somewhere between '80s solo troubadours like Rick Springfield and the distortion crackle of fin de siècle alterna-rock. Walker's a talented songwriter, so he largely pulled it off. Still, it did seem kinda forced, and the thing quickly disappeared. Walker's resurfaced in 2004 on Sony, and this time around things are much more comfy. From its handwritten liners to the obvious care with which its tracks were assembled in the studio, Letters feels like a direct communication from Butch's big Rundgren and Cheap Trick-lovin' brain. Like Pete Yorn, he draws ably on the mustache rock of his youth to make this music stand out in the present — check the clever lyrics and subtle synth processing of "Mixtape" to hear what '70s pop sounds like in a 21st century light. "#1 Summer Jam"'s cheeky power pop has a definite (and welcome) ELO quality, and "Don't Move" figures out how to cross Radiohead with creepy old 10cc. He fits in some ballads ("Best Thing You Never Had"), exuberantly cynical rockers (the anti-L.A. rant "Lights Out"), and gorgeous, vibe-toned dusk pop — is that the ghost of a young Jackson Browne floating through "So at Last"? There's no theft here. Rather, Walker sounds like a music fan given a golden opportunity to make a private gatefold masterpiece. Sure, "Mixtape" and "Summer Jam" can and should be hits. But it's likely true that Walker doesn't care if they are. Letters' ending proves this. "Promise" is a syrupy, achy, even funny little love song done up in drippy reverb and plaintive acoustic strum, while "Thank You Note" is just Butch and a piano and a strikingly personal tribute to a fallen friend. These quieter songs ground the album's more colorful moments; they help create the cycle that's so often missing from records these days. Walker's made an album for all the mornings after.

Customer Reviews

Best Producer of 2005's 2nd Solo Set

I own all of Butch Walker's CDs and I can say this is his best work to date. This is his second solo album. You might know him from his Marvelous 3 days with his chart topper "Freak of the Week". With this set, he shows us all that he can be a singer songwriter and hang with the best. The songs that stick out to me the most: "Maybe It's Just Me" Ever had that one that got away? Try not to love this song!! "Mixtape"-we've all done this, and Butch's lyrics are right on. "Don't Move"-shows how great his voice really is. All in all, this could be my favorite CD in my collection right now!!!!

B-Dub at it's best!

If you have an ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend or a sheep that you can't get over you need this record! "Best Thing You Never Had" is "for your ex-love or the one you hate". "So At Last" will stand out the first time you listen to it. The hidden track "State Line" deserves to be on the regular track listing. I could go on and on about each track but its easier to say you'll love the whole thing.

Butch is Awesome

I went to concert and Butch Walker opened for someone... i rushed into line and bought this CD as fast as i could... it is awesome .... i got to meet him and his music is GREAT... he is awesome... and just incase u didnt know he is singing a song on Tommy Lee's album "Tommyland the Ride" - he is an amazing artist and i wish that they would play his music on the radio!!!!


Born: November 14, 1969 in Rome, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Butch Walker is a singer, songwriter, and producer whose skills run from radio-friendly pop to high-attitude hard rock. After gaining a brief taste of major-label success during the '80s and '90s -- particularly with Marvelous 3, whose single "Freak of the Weak" became a modern rock hit in 1999 -- Walker traded his bandmates for a solo career. Meanwhile, he also established himself as an in-demand producer by working with high-profile artists like Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, and P!nk. Raised in...
Full Bio
Letters, Butch Walker
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Customer Ratings

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