The Rise And Fall of… Butch Walker & The Lets-Go-Out-Tonites
Release Date: July 11, 2006
EPIC/Red Ink Records | buy now
The name Butch Walker may be a familiar one for fans who read the album credits of their favorite artist or band. As a songwriter/producer, he has worked with big time acts such as Avril Lavigne, Hot Hot Heat, The All-American Rejects, and Lindsay Lohan. However, as a singer/songwriter, he has had several solid releases that have gone under the radar despite the continued growth that is evident with each new album. The follow-up to 2004’s impressive Letters has Butch enlist a band to back him, leading to the appropriately named album title:The Rise And Fall of… Butch Walker And The-Lets-Go-Out-Tonites. What follows is a phenomenal album that takes a different approach from previous efforts.
The opening track, “Hot Girls in Good Moods,” has a very 70’s hard-rock feel to it. The combination of provocative lyrics over hard-riffing electric guitars proves successful as the party track is a solid opener for what is a high-powered offering early on. Maintaining this formula, “Ladies & Gentlemen… ‘The Let’s Go Out Tonites'” is basically a “day in the life of a rock star” story. One of the more entertaining tracks of the album, the song makes direct references to drugs, sex, and other late-night adventures, all while providing a catchy chorus that tells the listener to “just follow along, there is no right or wrong way for certain, make up your own version, sing along.”
Likewise, despite being a straight dance-romp, “Paid To Get Excited” is one of the more powerful tracks of the album as it boldly challenges all kinds of accepted social norms, exposing the hypocrisy both in politics and entertainment-media. Another fun track that has pretty dark lyrical underlying, yet inspirational content, “Bethamphehtamine (Pretty Pretty)” is an eye-opener that focuses on a troubled girl who can’t seem to find what she wants so instead she settles for what’s there. “We’re All Going Down,” by far its darkest offering, is also the first slower track of the album, taking an alternate, more somber look at the rock-star lifestyle.
However, the strongest ballad on The Rise And Fall of…,” “Dominoes,” is not so much dark as it is perhaps one of the most creative love songs ever written. An inspiring, heartfelt, and tragic love story being told of an older man who loses his memory and shortly after loses his wife, Grace. While his condition puts a strain on his happiness, he at times finds himself remembering her while playing dominoes, hearing her words as a reminder of the love they shared. The chorus of “Everybody knows, memories will keep you alive, some of them can’t be erased. If I remember one today, let it be of Grace” is incredibly insightful and earnest.
Butch Walker seems to have no bounds on The Rise And Fall of… as he displays great versatility throughout the album. There are dance tracks, edgy-rock tracks, slow, acoustic/piano based tracks, and even a country offering in “Rich People Die Unhappy.” An awesome solo act who has so often found greater success as a producer, the addition of The-Lets-Go-Out-Tonites may be what pushes Butch into the mainstream attention that has long escaped him as an artist.
Standout Tracks: “We’re All Going Down”, “Dominoes”, “Paid To Get Excited”, “Hot Girls in Good Moods”, “Ladies & Gentlemen… “The Let’s Go Out Tonites,” “Bethampehtamine (Pretty Pretty)”.
– Christopher Griffin