Sycamore Meadows

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
One year after California bushfires destroyed his home, Butch Walker returns to his solo career with Sycamore Meadows, a cathartic effort that mixes ballads with anthems, heartland rock & roll with power pop, and sincerity with tongue-in-cheek humor. Walker is nothing if not a multi-tasker, having spent the bulk of 2008 in the production booth with artists like P!nk and Katy Perry. Balancing those gigs with a solo career is no easy feat, and the fact that Sycamore Meadows is quite good -- solidly crafted throughout, with clever songwriting and spirited performances -- is testament to Walker's wide-ranging talent. After jumpstarting the album with "The Weight of Her," ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
One year after California bushfires destroyed his home, Butch Walker returns to his solo career with Sycamore Meadows, a cathartic effort that mixes ballads with anthems, heartland rock & roll with power pop, and sincerity with tongue-in-cheek humor. Walker is nothing if not a multi-tasker, having spent the bulk of 2008 in the production booth with artists like P!nk and Katy Perry. Balancing those gigs with a solo career is no easy feat, and the fact that Sycamore Meadows is quite good -- solidly crafted throughout, with clever songwriting and spirited performances -- is testament to Walker's wide-ranging talent. After jumpstarting the album with "The Weight of Her," a standout tune that molds Tom Petty's influence with glammy swagger, he spends much of Sycamore Meadows talking about his various homes, from the songwriter's native Georgia to the urban enclaves of Los Angeles and Brooklyn. Hollywood becomes "a town made of glitter girls and cocaine friends," Atlanta becomes a '70s soundscape in "Ponce De Leon Ave," and "Passed Your Place, Saw Your Car, Thought of You" confines its geography to the outside of a lover's house, trading the specificities of Walker's other songs for a more universal approach. He's a thoughtful songwriter, at times intensely autobiographical -- particularly during "Going Back/Going Home," an acoustic crash course in Butch Walker's career -- but also attentive to the characters who populate everybody's lives, from the cute urban girl who works "at American Apparel, selling women's clothes to guys" to the overly stylized, disparaging hipster who "always wears a sweater even in the warmest weather." Such humor runs the risk of sounding holier than thou, but Walker's judgment is too tuneful to be condemning -- and often, he revels in the very scenes that his songs critique, training an accusatory light on himself as well as his subjects. Elsewhere, Sycamore Meadows gets personal with a number of breakup songs, the best of which -- a sad nugget of boozy blues named "Here Comes The" -- features background vocals from P!nk. "Here comes the heartache, the move out date, the excuses for my friends," the two sing in close harmony, lamenting a lover's departure while guitars swell in the background. Compare that song with "Vessels," a breakup tune that eschews inconsolability for bright key changes and high anthemic vocals, and you get the full spectrum of Walker's songwriting ability, which is as razor-sharp in 2008 as it's even been.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/11/2011
  • Label: Edge J26181
  • EAN: 4547366045901
  • Catalog Number: 04590

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Butch Walker Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Keyboards, Background Vocals
David Mann Alto Saxophone
Derek Watkins Trumpet
Matt Chamberlain Drums
Aaron Heick Tenor Saxophone
Ron King Trombone
Greg Leisz Guitar
Anthony Pleeth Cello
David Theodore Oboe
Lee Thornburg Trumpet
Dudley Bright Tenor Trombone
Maurice Murphy Trumpet
Harry Montague-Mason Violin
Peter Lale Viola
Cleto Escobedo Saxophone
Jeff Babko Saxophone
Jeff Kievit Trumpet
Anthony Pike Clarinet
Richard Watkins Horn
Roger Manning Keyboards
Darren Dodd Drums
Warren Zielinski Violin
Nick Bucknall Clarinet
Owen Slade Tuba
Alecia Moore Background Vocals
Mike Davis Trombone
Julie Andrews Bassoon
Michael Thompson Horn
Technical Credits
Rob Mathes Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Butch Walker Engineer, Liner Notes
Scott Hull Mastering
Joe Zook Engineer
Kevin Augunas Engineer
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Sycamore Meadows

    Butch Walker's new album is amazing. The acoustic sound is fantastic. All of the songs, both ballads and pop-rock, are so inviting that you just have to keep listening to them over and over again. Butch did such a great job on all facets of this CD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews