Underrated as hell. I know this album is vastly different from what we'd come to expect from Butch, but the transition from M3 to solo has so many parallels. He basically showcases both styles on this record, and if songs like "If" or "Far Away From Close" don't cut you deep in the slightest, you're a robot.
"Suburbia" is still one of my favorite storytelling lyrical pieces from him. Everything about that song, the way it weaves through all of these characters, never fails to impress me.
Oh, and the bonus track is hilarious.
Yeah, I can get why he doesn't like this one as much, to a certain extent: it's definitely a transitional album. But fuck, there are still so many fantastic songs. I wish he would still play some of the ballads, particularly "If." That one might hurt a little too much for him to return to often, but I think it would be a real showstopper.
"Suburbia" is such a genius piece of songwriting. I feel like that could be a legitimate hit if someone released it now. The lyrics are so whip smart and fast, and the hook is undeniable. When I started listening to this album back in the day, I used to think the "here's a bullet go to hell 'cause it's where you belong" line was the most badass thing ever.
And "Get Stupid With You" is so ridiculous. I remember getting to that track the first time, after "Take Tomorrow," and just being like, "what the fuck is going on?"
Amazing, amazing album, even if Butch doesn't look on it positively. Little trivia note: Matt Mahaffey, who did some production work, is the mastermind behind the band sElf, who I have been a fan of even longer than Butch. LIke BW, MM also does production work in the industry. He is an amazing musician and people should check him out, though his style is different than BW. Check out Self's albums: Subliminal Plastic Motives, Breakfast with girls, and Gizmodgery (all toy instrument).
anyhow, great review. This was the point (2002) where I became a huge BW fan and started going to a lot of his shows, met him a bunch, etc. This is the album that really made Butch my all-time favorite, even more so than Hey Album & ReadySexGo.
Will check out Self, thanks for the rec.
I really wish Butch liked this one more. A few years back, when he was doing those full-album residency shows, I kept thinking about how fucking awesome it would be to see him do this whole album, front to back. Of course, the fact that he'll never play "My Way" again probably wrecks that a bit, but I think he feels similarly about "Paid to Get Excited" off Rise and Fall, and he still did that record.
Of the Self-Centered
songs, I think I've only heard the acoustic version of "Diary" and "Far Away From Close" live.
Favorite will always be "Take Tomorrow," though. That was the second Butch Walker song I ever heard, and it took me from interested to die hard fan in about four minutes flat.