Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Feb 23rd, 2015

Butch Walker: Afraid of Ghosts

butch wButch Walker
Afraid of Ghosts
(Dangerbird Records)

Buy it at Amazon!

“Afraid of Ghosts,” a very pretty acoustic guitar-led and accordion-accented, coming-to-terms-with-what’s-lost song opens Butch Walker’s new album of the same name. “I Love You” follows with a soft, slinky bass drum, easy bass guitar, and almost Steve Forbett-sounding commercial “Ooh Ooh” admission of love.

“Still Drunk” is a slight naughty piano and acoustic guitar love song about where a man might be these days, (still drunk). It’s a very sweet song indeed. And “Bed On Fire,” with its deep piano, echo snare, Walker singing higher than usual and a plunky banjo opens up into a roiling torch tune with some striving single strings and Walker aching in the chorus. I love this tune; it might be the best one of the ten here.

“Autumn Leaves” has the lower dark piano again, shuttering quick snare brush beat, a light, floaty chorus  and some nice pedal steel accents. It’s yet another great example of Walker’s expressive voice and tightly constructed songwriting.

As one would expect, seeing that Walker’s father died just four days before he recorded this album, “Father’s Day” is heart-wrenching to say the least. With lyrics like “Looking into my little boy’s eyes takes about all I have” and a wailing Neil Young spiky lead at a high gospel rock end just about takes everything out of Walker and his listener.

With solid Ryan Adams production and his honest delivery, Butch Walker’s Afraid of Ghosts shows this American treasure of a singer/songwriter might just not be so very afraid after all.


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Butch Walker: Afraid of Ghosts