on 10 July 2006
In Britain, Butch Walker is largely an unknown quantity; but scratch the surface and you'll discover that a significant amount of pop-rock anthems of the last few years have come from Walker, including Avril Lavigne's "My Happy Ending" and Bowling for Soup's "Girl All The Bad Guys Want". However, his sporadic British concert dates sell out on the strength of his own library of work, spanning around two decades of music with the Floyds Funk Revival and the Marvelous 3 and two solo albums, Left of Self-Centered and Letters. Sadly, the dazzling heights of Hey! Album-era Marvelous 3 (which saw the smash hit 'Freak of the Week' all over tv and radio) were nowhere to be seen on a somewhat disappointing and drab pair of albums made without his bandmates. Armed with a new backing group, the Let's Go Out Tonites, Butch Walker's third album seems to have finally recaptured the sparkle of the irrepressibly catchy, hook-laden pop that fans fell in love with all those years ago, with tracks such as 'Paid To Get Excited' packed with energy and verve. The album's opener, 'Hot Girls In Good Moods' exemplifies the similarities with early Marvelous 3 records, with a catchy chorus and laconic, drawling vocals and it's clear that Walker's increasing talent with production is a big reason for the record's quality. Butch was named Rolling Stone's producer of the year in 2005, and the ease with which this album spans emotions and styles could suggest that it is his own music that comes to the fore in 2006, rather than his talent when it comes to crafting other people's. A triumphant return to form from a criminally overlooked star.