Butch Walker And The Black Widows – I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart (2010)

Bradley Glenn “Butch” Walker (born November 14, 1969) is an American recording artist, songwriter, and record producer. He was the lead guitarist for the metal band SouthGang from the late 1980s to early 1990s as well as the lead vocalist and guitarist for rock band Marvelous 3 from 1997 until 2001.
I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart is the fifth full-length studio album by Butch Walker, and the first released under the name Butch Walker and the Black Widows. On January 5, 2010 Walker released “Trash Day” as the first single, backed with the track “She Likes Hair Bands”. The complete track list was made available on Butch’s website in February 2010. The vinyl release was February 2, 2010, with the CD/digital release following on February 23, 2010. The album landed at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #125 on the Billboard Hot 200.
The day that Butch Walker runs out of melodies will be a dark day indeed, but he shows little sign of decline on his fifth solo effort. Like Sycamore Meadows, this album finds the 40-year-old Walker in a contemplative, autobiographical mood, referencing everything from his hair metal past to his Los Angeles home. It’s ostensibly a breakup record, too, with a rather despondent title and another sad, Southern-styled ballad, “Don’t You Think Someone Should Take You Home,” that sounds like the companion piece to 2008’s “Here Comes The.” If Walker is heartbroken, though, he doesn’t show it during some of the album’s best songs, from the roots rocker “Trash Day” to the shuffling “Temporary Title.” Bad feelings also don’t prevent him from ornamenting the album with some of his best production to date. A sweeping, Phil Spector-styled string section opens “Pretty Melody,” swells of vocal harmony pop up throughout “Stripped Down Version,” and violins dart around the melody in “House of Cards.” Michael Trent receives co-writing credits for roughly half of these tracks, but I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart is a Butch Walker album through and through. It’s also one of his best, proof that Walker still can’t take a step without bumping into a usable hook.

Tracklist

1.  “Trash Day”  (Walker) – 3:07
2.  “Pretty Melody” – 4:22
3.  “Don’t You Think Someone Should Take You Home” – 4:37
4.  “Stripped Down Version” – 3:32
5.  “Canadian Ten”  (Walker) – 4:27
6.  “Temporary Title”  (Walker) – 3:13
7.  “She Likes Hair Bands”  (Walker) – 2:58
8.  “House of Cards” – 2:30
9.  “They Don’t Know What We Know” – 3:45
10.  “Days/Months/Years” – 3:14
11.  “Be Good Until Then”  (Walker) – 4:06

Bonus tracks
12.  “Xmas in April”  (iTunes pre-order bonus track) – 1:39
13.  “Fixed Gears and Broken Hearts”  (iTunes bonus track) – 2:37
14.  “You Belong With Me”  (Pre-order bonus track) – 4:13

All tracks written by Butch Walker and Michael Trent, except where noted

Personnel

  • Butch Walker – lead vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano
  • Fran Capitanelli – guitars
  • Chris Unck – guitars, lap steel
  • Jake Sinclair – bass guitar
  • Wesley Flowers – keyboards
  • Darren Dodd – drums, percussion

Notes
Released: February 2, 2010
Genre: Alternative rock, pop rock
Length: 48:38

Label – One Haven Music

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