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Walker; Brett: Straight Jacket Vacation

With links to Survivor, Alias, Jeff Paris, Carl Dixon, Jonathan Cain and Russ Ballard, for those in the melodic rock know, the announcement on the 7th of July this year that singer and songwriter Brett Walker was to release a new solo album was reason to celebrate. However a mere 24 hours later the tragic news was released that Walker had died, turning those shouts of joy, to tears of sadness.

On the insistence of Brett's wife, AOR Heaven went ahead with the release, providing the fans of this unsung hero one last opportunity to be captivated by a songwriter capable of being downbeat in an upbeat fashion, while offering lyrics and melodies to tug at the heartstrings and live long in the memory. Thankfully Straight Jacket Vacation is no exception, being an easy going, yet thoroughly engaging set of songs that keep things simple without ever being too straight forward. Think laid back Melodic Rock meets Americana and you won't be far away from the relaxed, yet focused approach the likes of "What About You", "More Than I" and the positively jaunty "Streetlights Burning" thrive on. In fact you could argue that Def Leppard have spent the past couple of decades striving to sound as vibrant and vital as this. Walker also revisits his past with a stripped back version of the hit song he wrote for Alias, "Waiting For Love" taking an already wonderful song and raising it to less forceful heights. And really that could describe the overall emotion on an album that really thrives through not be pushy, flashy or false. Instead what Walker lovingly pieced together here are honest songs that hit their mark through simple, yet interesting arrangements and by virtue of being well written and crafted songs. Something all too often forgotten as bands and albums are clumsily moulded into what is thought to be fashionable or en vogue. Simply listen to the acoustically strummed and harmony sung "Good Enough", or the powerful poppy rock of "I'm Gonna Fly" for proof that if you write a good song and play it from the heart, then the results will sparkle and shine without the need for tricks, flicks and gimmicks.

As is so often the case in the world of Melodic Rock, even for a musician and songwriter whose music featured in countless US TV hit shows (Sex And The City and Baywatch just for starters), the aptly titled "Someday I'm Gonna Be Famous" sums up the fate of the hugely talented, yet overlooked. However at least Brett Walker left us with a shimmering catalogue of work and a final solo album that celebrates the man and his talents quite wonderfully. We'll miss you Brett.


Track Listing
1. Reaching For The Stars
2. What About You
3. Better Than Goodbye
4. Streetlight Burning
5. I'll Bet It Hurts
6. More Than I
7. Good Enough
8. Waiting For Love
9. I'm Gonna Fly
10. So Happy
11. Unlucky At Love
12. Someday I'm Gonna Be Famous

Added: August 23rd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Metal Heaven Records
Hits: 2183
Language: english

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