Butch Walker - Letters

Reinvention is always a risky proposition for a musician. In the attempt to grow artistically, fan bases can be permanently damaged and in some cases, it can mean the end of a career. Of course, reinvention can also lift a musician's output to levels yet unexplored, pushing the envelope to an extent that would be impossible otherwise. With Letters, Butch Walker takes this gamble.

Walker's first solo CD, 'Left of Self-Centered' was almost an extension of his last band 'The Marvelous 3', an electric festival with a wink and a nod to the casual listener and lyrical depth to the most fervent fan. This time, the acoustic takes precedence.

There are no jokes here. Instead, Butch offers a deeply introspective disc. Tunes like 'Maybe It's Just Me' and 'Joan', sounding at times like the softer side of Manic Street Preachers, would have no place on LOSC. Here, they fit comfortably, playing to a more mature sets of ears. Not to say that the disc is an acoustic sobfest. Butch still kicks with 'Uncomfortably Numb' and '#1 Summer Jam' (the latter of which, surprisingly enough echoes 'Candy'). Perhaps a lyric in the former gives us an idea of his intentions with this disc, as Walker sings: "Gotta get out of Los Angeles, gotta get Lost Angeles out of me".

Letters finds Walker showing a new facet while not forgetting his past. While those not ready to take this journey will be put off, listeners willing to remove set limitations on their artists will be thoroughly satisfied.

by Lycan Davis

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