Butch Walker and the Black Widows: I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart 

One Heaven

No stranger to a hook, former Atlanta resident Butch Walker demonstrates his abundant pop gifts across a batch of songs spanning the spectrum from gentle ballads to vibrant rockers. Wistful longing and regret run like a thread through the 11 tracks, whether Walker's contemplating a mismatched coupling on the country-soul "She Likes Hair Bands," or an incipient collapse on the baroque Beatles-esque "House of Cards." It's a catchy, surprisingly eclectic album that wanders into a doo-wop-flavored sway ("They Don't Know What We Know"), teases out a halting harmony-filled piano ballad accented with pedal steel ("Canadian Ten"), and returns to his buoyant power-pop roots ("Temporary Title"). Those hoping for a reprise of Walker's rock edge will be disappointed – only a couple tracks qualify – but it's readily overlooked when measured against the spellbinding country-pop beauty of album highlight "Don't You Think Someone Should Take You Home." 3 out of 5 stars.


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