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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Walker, Butch - 2002 Left Of Self Centered
Walker, Butch - 2002 Left Of Self Centered

Butch Walker - everything!

Just one listen to the opening track of Butch Walker's debut solo album confirms that this Atlanta native clearly doesn't take himself too seriously. A pastiche advertisement for a vocal aid that is filled with dubious attempts at comedy may not be the most orthodox way to introduce a new record to new listeners, but it's certainly a brave one, especially considering Walker's track record so far in the music industry. Walker has undoubted talent, but after spells in cult-status major label bands Southgang and Marvelous 3, as well as various production and songwriting gigs, he has yet to find the right vehicle for his immense musical gift. Southgang arrived on the early 1990's hard rock scene too late to make any real impression, whilst it still remains a mystery why Marvelous 3 never attained any significant success.

The Songs
However, 'Left Of Self Centered' could finally be Butch Walker's destiny, so perfectly does it encapsulate all the elements of his music career thus far. With Walker writing, playing, producing and singing everything himself, this album makes no attempt to hide Walker's perfectionism or single-minded attitude, yet it's also very easy to see why Arista have taken a chance in affording him such creative control. Quite simply, 'Left of Self Centered' is crammed with great rock songs, and even one or two potential monster hits. First single 'My Way' is one such contender, and as one of the most added songs to playlists in May, could be the first of many. With a gargantuan hook line, massive chorus and some thick, crunchy guitars it will certainly prick up the ears of most who hear it, and it should appeal to anyone wanting a more mature and fine-tuned alternative to the likes of Sum 41 or Lit. Indeed, what distinguishes the songs on 'Left Of Self-Centered' from the majority of punk-pop bands currently out there is Walker's cerebral, dare I say intelligent lyrics. Bob Dylan he isn't, but it's refreshing to hear a rock singer that has a greater grasp of songwriting than most of his contemporaries.

Songs like 'Diary of a San Fernando Sexx Star' and the brilliant 'Suburbia' are a lot cleverer than they appear, demonstrating Walker's knack for crafting immensely likeable tunes about characters on the periphery of society. Whilst other bands might sing about doing drugs or shagging porn stars, Walker is more concerned with the sad social detail of his characters' lives, as in the aforementioned 'San Fernando Sexx Star' or frank about the realities of a one night stand in the impressive 'Trouble'. But without wishing to over-intellectualize his music, Walker has been brought up on the hair rock of the 80's and it shows clearly throughout, not least when Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue makes a guest appearance on bass on 'Into the Black'. This song, like the excellent 'Alicia Amnesia' and 'Diary of a San Fernando Sexx Star' embrace the bombast and melody of the hard rock music he grew up with, but weld that with contemporary arrangements, modern production techniques and an overall vibe that means 'Left Of Self Centered' sounds entirely relevant in 2002. There's also a couple of well-crafted slower tunes, including 'If (Jeannie's Song)' and 'Take Tomorrow (One Day at a Time)', a touching song written in the aftermath of September 11th that rounds off the album nicely, and one that could be a huge hit.

In Summary
'Left of Self-Centered' is a true solo album in every sense and is natural progression from Marvelous 3's finest moment, 'Readysexgo'. Even though Butch Walker may not take himself too seriously, on the evidence of this album, it's about time the rest of the music industry did.


Track Listing:
01 Rock Vocal Power
02 My Way
03 Suburbia
04 Trouble
05 Alicia Amnesia
06 Sober
07 Into The Black
08 Get Down
09 Far Away From Close
10 Diary Of A San Fernando Sexx Star
11 If (Jeannie's Song)
12 Take Tomorrow (One Day At A Time)
13 Bonus Track
14 Bonus Track

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#1 | jeffduran on February 26 2009 11:44:09
brilliant songwriter and musician
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