Butch Walker-Leaving The Game On Luckie St.

Let me begin this by saying I am a Butch Walker fan. I own everything he has ever recorded solo and with Marvelous 3. I have bootleg audio and video recordings. I have seen him live 13 times, been a part of the legendary crew that were and are royalty on his official message boards, and have 2 Butch Walker related tattoos.

That being said, I found Walker’s live 2-disc album, Leaving the Game On Luckie St. to be utterly disappointing. The Atlanta-bred singer-songwriter has always put on a live show that leaves his studio albums in the dust due to their high-energy and flawless musicianship and vocals. I can’t say if it’s due to Walker’s age, ego, or any other possible reason, but the vocals and musicianship have lost a certain magic they used to possess. The tenor voice that once sounded so clear and pure, has more than it’s share of brassiness and slightly off-pitch moments.

To make matters worse, the album for the most part is boring and easily ignorable. The production value, to put it nicely, is…meh. The mix is off, causing the guitar volume to be much louder than necessary, overpowering the vocals.

There are a few highlights to the album: the first being just before “Far Away From Close.” Walker launches into a cover of James‘ “Laid.” On the beginning of the second disc, he humorously recounts the fall of his first marriage, which has been the basis for much of his lyrical content through the years, and uses it as a lead-in to “Racecars and Goth Rock.”

Perhaps the album suffers due to the lack of visual. Many times, minor slip-ups in musicianship can be forgiven when they’re being sacrificed in the name of something awesome to look at. I suppose I’ll have to wait to see the DVD to find out.

So, in summary, the album will probably be a delightful must-have for die-hard Butch Walker fans, but if trying to convert a newcomer to the ways of Butchdom, look elsewhere.

Butch Walker: website | myspace



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