Artist: Butch Walker
Album: “Stay Gold”
Label: Dangerbird Records
Format Reviewed: Vinyl
Lyrics of Note:
I came from white trash, whiplash, road rash from a bike
You drank from a wine glass, stage pass, in your belt loop tied
Little baby made it out of here
When ambition was the only drug you tried
While the vinyl of today lacks that same Rice Krispies sound of the past (less snaps, crackles, and pops), it still offers more of an experience when listening to an album, especially that first time around. You’re more committed to the moment because vinyl grounds you in it. Something is also expected of you in return… as if the record itself wants a sacrifice for all of its spinning. It is your job as a listener to flip the record halfway through, and when it comes to Stay Gold, it is an action worth the sacrifice, even for those who prefer to remain stationary.
A songwriter who can lyrically relate to the listener even when singing about subjects that are not necessarily grounded in everyone’s reality, Walker’s greatest strength on Stay Gold is that he doesn’t stay with any one sound. Whether he’s forcing your head to bob along with the funky riffs of “Mexican Coke” or taking you on a roots-inspired journey in “Can We Just Not Talk About Last Night,” the album is a mash-up of genres, and yet, the ten tracks are woven in such a way that they still manage to compliment each other.
While Walker has had more personal records (Afraid of Ghosts) and those that infected your subconscious to the point of takeover (Sycamore Meadows), Stay Gold may very well be his most well-rounded. Like life, Butch Walker’s musical career has been less about the destination and more about the journey.
Have a little fun with this can’t-look-away lyric video for the title track.