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| 23 September 2016 | Reply


Label: Dangerbird Records

Release Date: August 26, 2016

Rating: 10/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

He’s Back!!!  From the first note to last, the latest disc from Butch Walker ranks among my favorite discs in his catalog – and I am talking SouthGang, Marvelous 3, 1969, and solo stuff.  This song is a return to fun rock and roll that has the pop-rock punch that Butch has become known for whether recording or producing.  Disc opener and title track “Stay Gold” also played the role of show opener on his recent tour.  This fun track sets the pace and bar for the rest of the release.  The lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, while the content is very telling of Butch’s mindset.  The chorus is catchy – I dare you to drive with this one on and not roll down the windows as you scream ‘You gotta Stay Gold now Pony Boy…’  “East Coast Girl” follows and the guitar work on this song takes me back to Left of Self-Centered and Letters.  The vocals are strong and demonstrate Butch still has his vocal chops intact, along with his writing and playing.  “Ludlow Expectations” is a cool tune that opens with a drag-race intro that quickly morphs into a track with a race-like cadence that anchors the song perfectly.  The vocals are some of Walker’s best on the disc and fun to listen to.  “Irish Exit” is a flashy track that dials up the energy and party quotient of the disc after some cool mellower songs.  The pre-chorus and verse let Butch do what he does best – sing his songs and have fun.  The rhythm of this track is infectious and gets the foot tapping from first drumbeat to last.  “Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night” is another special piece of Walker’s that grabbed me on the first pass through.  The opening takes me back to the pop-rock goodness of the late 70’s but soon shifts to that familiar vibe of Butch’s slower / milder tracks.  The guitars are fun and well suited when paired up against the vocals and lyrics.

“Wilder In The Heart” slows things a bit, but this ain’t your Momma’s ballad.  From the thick background vocals to the acoustic and slide guitar and cool retro sound woven through the musical accompaniment gives this song a cool throwback sound without sounding rehashed or used.  The lyrical references to GA are another piece of Butch that he tosses into each song, as he is forever proud of his Georgia heritage.  “Descending” starts off with a beautiful piano interlude that is graced by Ashley Monroe through the first verse.  When Walker’s voice swirls into the mix, you get a very thick sounding vocal that perfectly marries the two diverse voices in a way that they complement each other without drowning the lyrics.  “Mexican Coke” picks up where “Irish Exit” left off… not only with geographic references in the title, but with a feel-good groove woven through the musical fabric of the track.  The addition of horns breathes a different life into the song that adds depth to the disc as a whole.  “Spark: Lost” has a different vibe than other songs on the disc, but fits within the scope of the disc as a whole.  The guitars are fun and give the song the perfect foundation to build upon.  When the chorus kicks in, the wall of sound vocals builds this song up even more.  Be sure to check out a killer solo at the bridge that shines brightly when put up against any others on the disc.  Disc closer “Record Store” takes us out on another milder note that may dial back on the attitude and intensity, but not on quality.  This song has the great lyrical content Butch is known for as well as a fun arrangement that marries his lead vocal with that of touring band mate Suzanne Santo on the chorus.  This may not be a party rock album, but it is a killer Butch Walker album that is another great album from this writer, performer, and producer.

Tracklisting: Stay Gold – East Coast Girl – Wilder In The Heart – Ludlow Expectations – Descending – Irish Exit – Mexican Coke – Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night – Spark: Lost – Record Store






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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