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Butch Walker | American Love Story

The veteran singer-songwriter and producer dishes up a rock opera. No kidding.

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Butch Walker likes to mix it up. The former Marvelous 3 frontman (remember Freak of the Week?) and current superstar producer (he’s been behind the glass for everyone from Green Day and Weezer to Avril and Carly Rae) has also made a slew of great albums under his own steam and name over the years. And each has been different than the last. But none has been quite so different (or ambitious) as this. American Love Story is a full-length, full-blown rock-opera narrative about a second-generation Red State redneck who gradually evolves into a better man, thanks thanks to the healing powers of karma, love and family. And since rock operas are nothing if not nostalgic by their very nature of their existence, the tale is set to a vintage-sounding soundtrack inspired by ’80s rock, pop and funk — and accompanied by a full-length video. Nope, I’m not kidding. And neither is Walker, clearly — American Love Story is the most focused, topical, and multi-dimensional work of his already-impressive and restlessly diverse career. Granted, give the subject matter, political leanings and sonic setting, it’s likely to turn off as many folks as it wins over. Of course, something tells me Walker might just appreciate such a mixed reaction.

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Things are weird. This we can all agree on. In light of the current state of the country (and the rest of the world), I grappled with whether to do this or not … But I feel like in trying our best to create some sort of escape from all the madness, what better way to do that than with … a NEW ALBUM! Let me rephrase that. It’s not really a traditional “album” like I’ve made in the past. You see, a couple of years ago, I wrote and recorded this sort of rock opera love story about hate. I know, I know … CRINGY. Nobody needs a rock opera in 2020, and they aren’t exactly a popular concept. Which is exactly why I did it. And i finally think it’s time to let this thing out into the great wide open. It’s called American Love Story. Think of it as a cast of characters, telling a sometimes harsh, sometimes funny but beautiful and bittersweet tale of “this was the life around me in my youth” to a “what if it happened to you” scenario. All wrapped up in a soundtrack that sounds like the FM radio and MTV of my younger years. It’s not gonna be for everybody (when have I ever been?), and that’s okay. All I want is for it to be a little thought provoking and maybe give you a couple of feels along the way. Hope you listen. More to come.”