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2011 album from the Alt-Rock singer, songwriter and producer. An adrenaline-pumping blast of hook-fueled Rock 'n' Roll, The Spade features 10 tracks written by Walker and recorded with his longtime bandmates The Black Widows and Patrick Keeler (of The Raconteurs) in Venice, CA. The record showcases Walker's sharp lyrical wit and unbridled affection for the anthemic pop of his youth. From first single "Summer of 89" (where he sings " Nobody really knew Bryan Adams wasn't cool / The TV just told me he was") to "Synthesizers" ("I don't have a synthesizer / I can still get down like Duran Duran in 1985"), the album is full of knowing winks, half-cocked smiles, and monster sing-alongs. Walker writes with a boozy swagger, leading his band through what sounds like the soundtrack to the world's greatest house party.
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The album feels like it was recorded at your local greasy, dirty, dingy bar. Just as you need a shower after leaving that bar you should probably take one after listening to this. That is in no way a bad thing it just means that you probably just had the best time you have had in a long time!
The album takes off perfectly with Bodegas and Blood, followed up with a great scream at the top of your lungs EverySingleBodyElse, and reaches new heights with Summer of '89. Just as you think that you have nothing left in you at the very end of the album you literally get punched right in the face with the perfect party song Sucker Punched.
This term gets thrown around a lot but it is totally true for this album, it is indeed all killer and no filler.
If you want to have a blast driving, hanging with friends, or even cleaning your house, you cannot go wrong with this album. No matter what you are doing this album will help make it the best time you've ever had.
So buy the album, put it on as soon as it arrives, and then go take a shower...you're gonna need it.
"The Spade" is not Butch Walker's finest record (two years on I still can't go more than a few days without listening to "I Liked You Better When You Had No Heart"), nor is it his weakest (sure, his record "The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let's Go Out Tonites" was fun the first few times, but I can't remember the last time I had a hankering to listen to it). But it's a fine addition to his catalog, and one of the best rock records of this year.
"Bodegas and Blood" features a catchy riff and excellent interplay with the band, while lead single "Summer of '89" is a loud, arena ready rocker with a hook that screams to be played loudly in your car on a Friday night. "Day Drunk" is another excellent inclusion in Walker's getting old song catalog, the sound building to a perfect simple chorus. "Dublin Crow" reminds me quite a bit of the White Stripes "Little Ghost" for some reason, but as that is one of my favorite songs by that band, I have no complaints about that. "Closest Thing To You I'm Gonna Find" is a beautiful song with a classic melody, something that seems to have existed since the seventies, while "Bullet Belt" sports a driving introduction into another one of those insanely good choruses.
The record stumbles occasionally. "Suckerpunch" is a little too "studio jam" for me, and "Sweethearts" never seems to get it's swagger right to me, though the backing vocals are pretty cool I must admit.
Production wise, like "I Liked It Better", "The Spade" is pretty loose, sounding like it was culled from the band all playing together at the same time rather than over thought, and by extension over produced. Lyrically Walker is still the same, writing anthems about his past mixed in with tales of life in Los Angeles or Walker's native home of Atlanta. Walker continues to grow stronger vocally with each record, which is terribly impressive, and the band simply kills on this record, easily the best collective to play with Butch since those long ago Marvelous 3 days.
"The Spade" is another excellent collection of songs from a guy who seems to just be able to do this easily. But the songs never seem easy or underwritten, which is a chief part of Walker's appeal to me. "The Spade" might nit quite meet "I Liked You Better", but it's still a record that you should purchase and give a shot. You will not be disappointed.
Edit: I have this album in heavy rotation in my music list and don't skip any songs.
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You can't go wrong With a singer songwriter producer That has his S*** together.