Butch Walker, 'Sycamore Meadows' (Power Ballad/Original Signal)

6
Sycamore Meadows
Critical Mass
Label: Power Ballad/Original Signal

by Mikael Wood

This well-connected Los Angeleno spends his days producing hits for pop-radio stars like Pink and Avril Lavigne and his nights crafting vibrant power-pop discs crammed with record-nerd ear candy. Sycamore Meadows is longer on introspective ballads than Walker's last several efforts, due no doubt to the loss of his house (and the majority of his possessions) in the Malibu wildfires of 2007. Even when he's bumming, though, Walker still finds comfort in a good groove or a tart horn chart; "Going Back/Going Home"and "Ships in a Bottle" are songs of survival, not surrender.

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