On Butch Walker's fifth solo album with the hefty title I Liked You Better When You Had No Heart, he has managed to maintain his chameleon-like nature as well as the catchy songwriting that makes his music so appealing.
Right out of the gate, the opening track "Trash Day" kicks off with a twangy guitar, signaling 1970s era California sound present throughout the record. The song lyrically finds Walker delving familiar territory, the hypocrisy of suburban life.
The soaring strings of and incredible melody, appropriately enough, make "Pretty Melody" one of the best songs on the album.
Michael Trent, singer and principle songwriter of The Films, co-wrote many of the album's 11 tracks and even shares lead vocals on the beautiful ballad "Don't You Think Someone Should Take You Home."
The playful side of Butch Walker's music is still very present in the album's music and lyrics. The groovy harmonized guitar solo on "They Don't Know What We Know" conjures up images of Brian May while the saucy lyrics of "She Likes Hair Bands" are about as silly as you'd expect, but wrapped in an infectious melody.
In the end, I Liked You Better When You Had No Heart is another solid offering from Butch Walker, offering honest, catchy songs with no pretension whatsoever.
The album will be out on Feb. 23 via One Haven Music and Walker will open for Train at the Carolina Theatre in Durham on March 10. Download the song "Trash Day" here.