Richard Butler's solo debut just missed out on making the cut for my year end top five list. Co-written and produced by frequent Pink Floyd & Roger Waters collaborator Jon Carin, the album is a fairly subdued set of songs that deal with Butler's divorce and the death of his father. And as good as it is, I think it was those themes that kept me from really bonding with it. There just weren't enough times last year that I wanted to listen to downbeat music. But I feel obliged to give it a mention because it contains what was without a doubt my favorite song of 2006.
Butler has written some of my all time favorite songs, both with The Psychedelic Furs ("The Ghost In You") and Love Spit Love ("Am I Wrong"). But with both of those, I loved them for personal reasons as much at because they were great tunes. With "California," there is no emotional relevence to anything going on in my life (the lyrics seem to ponder the meaning of love at the end of the world). I think it's the production that I like so much. There is something about the start/stop melody on top of the repeating vocal lines that is just cool as hell. It's got a great blend of quiet and loud parts, and the outro sounds like a rocked-up version of U2's "With Or Without You." Whatever the reasons were, there was literally not a single time I listened to this song in the last year that I didn't reach for the repeat button.
Richard Butler - "California" (mp3) from Richard Butler
painting (Spacegirl) by Richard Butler
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