People are always surprised when I tell them my favorite song from this album is "State Line" haha. It's also one of my favorite songs period. I guess the fact I had to search for it as a hidden bonus track made it even more special for me.
I vividly remember the day this came out and the hype on the old Butch Walker boards about this album --- and the rest is history, because this album stuck with me from the week I turned 21 back in late August 2004 until today.
I used to have the extended version of "#1 Summer Jam" on a CD somewhere. Wish I still had it. I love the 'remix' tacked on to the end.
I really don't understand why "Stateline" is a hidden track. Has he ever explained that? My brother doesn't count it as the closer because it's technically not a part of the official tracklist (as the tracks appear on the CD), but it's probably my second or third favorite album grand finale ever. Wish he would play it live more often.
Didn't even know the longer version of "Summer Jam" was out there. Going to have to try tracking that down.
Well fuck guess I gotta give this record another shot. This man's music has never really stuck with me for some reason.
What have you listened to from him? Honestly, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if this record didn't quite do it for you, just because it's more poppy than what I think you tend to normally listen to. But yeah, this is my second favorite album of all time, so...
Gotta start at the beginning and listen to all of his stuff. Only heard the past few albums but I really like them and have been a fan since Sycamore Meadows. Should I bother with anything pre-Marvelous 3?
I love reading pieces where people who love a record gush about why. Great job, man.
Thanks dude. This one I actually found harder than the rest of the reviews I've written so far, just because this album is so important to me and I could have written so much more about all of these songs.
I posted a very long comment and then the page failed. Sucks. Anyhow, in short I will just say that I saw a lot of Butch concerts between LOSC and Letters. I got to hear many of the songs on Letters in their infancy, in acoustic, raw versions. I loved it. So I guess it took me a little while to fully embrace this album because I was comparing all the album versions to the live versions. I've sometimes found that Butch holds back vocally on this album, whereas live he really shines as an amazing singer. That being said, I love this album. And Stateline...holy shit, even before I was a father the line about "my boy will never know me with another man by his side" brought tears to my eyes. what a powerful track.
Interesting, I'm completely the opposite on the vocals. I think that this is one of the only albums of his where almost all of the songs are superior on record to how they are live. I think he does things here vocally that are very, very difficult to re-create in a live setting, just because his voice sounds so pure and warm and it's hard to get that sound as a tenor when you're singing 2-hour rock shows every night. "Don't Move," in particular, is a song that I love live, but which reaches another level in the studio.
I should commend you on undertaking this project. It's really awesome to see others who love Butch as much as I do -- there's a nice small community here of people with sincere adoration for the man, and to see your passion and enthusiasm come through in your very thorough and very specific reviews is simply awesome.
I hope the man himself sees them and reads through them, because I like to believe you speak for many of us when writing these out.
Thanks for the compliments man, I'm really glad you're following these reviews and participating in the conversation.
I've been tweeting him with each one. Hope he notices one of these days, though I think he's pretty busy with the tour this week.
I've only heard Sycamore Meadows and everything after that album
Nice, well you're definitely in for a treat with this one and the album I'm reviewing tomorrow. And you can't go wrong with the Marvelous 3 stuff or the first solo record, but if you like Sycamore, I'd recommend Letters as the album you should listen to next.
Disagree was the wrong word, just didn't hit me the way it hit you and of course it's hard to totally agree with the first point you made if I don't feel that way.
Love these reviews though and the amount of passion you are putting into them. It's making me feel inadequate because I don't like it as much as you, haha, which is a good thing.
Haha, that's fair. First point was really meant as a way of drawing people in, even though I definitely feel that way.
Thanks for reading, either way. The goal, of course, is to inspire some people to listen to these albums for the first time, get others to revisit or reconsider their opinions on them, or just generate discussion among fans. So I hope you're listening along!
You're right about "Best Thing," I think the way he performs it live makes it so much bigger than it was originally but damn, do I love that song. I remember the first time I really GOT it and was like "holy shit, you do not want this song to be about you." But mostly, whenever I listen to it, I see him kind of writhing on the floor with a mic cord wrapped around his neck and the intensity of it is huge.
I love "Lights Out" so much. I didn't start seeing Butch live till 2010 (my loss) so I never got to dance party to it, which is kind of a bummer. Maybe he'll bring it back some day.
Love this album.
I think the first live version of "Best Thing" I saw was on the Budokan DVD, which just blew me away. By the end of that video he's more or less crying and his guitar strings are all broken. So intense. I think that video is on YouTube, let me see if I can find it...
Yep, there it is! But seriously, it would suck for that song to be about you. Wonder who he wrote about it.
"Lights Out" I saw live once. It's the perfect song for him to do his "trip into the audience" thing. I hope he brings it back someday as well.