“I love you!” a girl giggles at the beginning of Butch Walker’s new song “Pretty Crazy,” to which Walker deadpans, “Oh, cool.” It’s a lightning-flash exchange that nonetheless sums up the superficiality of today’s culture — are anyone’s words ever really sincere?
Walker tackles all sorts of words and viewpoints in the modern-day United States on his upcoming new album American Love Story, a rock opera told from the perspectives of characters like a bigot, a liberal, a gay man, and the vapid woman (Walker referred to her as “Paris” in an Instagram post) of “Pretty Crazy.” American Love Story is Walker’s first studio album since 2016’s Stay Gold.
“Nobody needs a rock opera in 2020, and they aren’t exactly a popular concept. Which is exactly why I did it,” Walker said in a statement. “Think of it as a cast of characters, all telling a sometimes harsh, sometimes funny but beautiful and bittersweet tale all wrapped up in a soundtrack that sounds like the FM radio and MTV of my younger years.”
“Pretty Crazy” is just that: a mid-tempo ballad that features all of Walker’s hallmarks. The lyrics are sharp and rich in wordplay (“forget about an unforgettable night,” he sings), the “ooh-ooh” refrains are abundant, and the guitar solo is Eighties glam. It’s peak Butch.
A Grammy-nominated producer, Walker recently produced Green Day’s new album Father of All Motherfuckers. American Love Story will be released May 8th.