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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Aug 31st, 2016

Butch Walker: Stay Gold

butchButch Walker
Stay Gold
(Dangerbird Records)

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With its flangy guitar, big snare snapping, and singable chorus opener title track, Butch Walker’s new Stay Gold is a 10-song simple rock collection of subtle songwriter ease. “East Coast Girl” follows with a Pretenders-like main riff, some solid tom-tom work, and Walker’s talking vocal over a simple bass. The song has very clever lyrics as well. “Descending,” a simple piano-led ballad sees Walker duet with country singer Ashley Monroe about survival and staying on the course of love.  The mix of voices in the chorus is especially effective. “Mexican Coke” slips and slides with a 50’s-like piano plink and burping horns behind the white funk guitar throw-down. The jumpy chorus here and those horns fighting to the fore is just super sugary perfect. “Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night” is a sweet, sexy, mid-tempo Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane”-sounding tentative love/lust song. It’s probably Walker’s best lyrics here and maybe one of his most sincere vocals on this record. The flunk of a sweetly played acoustic guitar and Walker’s lilting higher range informs the beautiful ending song, “Record Store.” Duet harmonies in the chorus and back-in-the-mix synth strings sweep through this story-song of a man telling of a woman he will always love, but doesn’t much have anymore.  This is brilliant stuff really; it’s a great rock song, with the lead fiddle just adding to the poignancy. As one would expect, Butch Walker’s Stay Gold is just simply wonderful.

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Butch Walker: Stay Gold