Brett Walker
Straight Jacket Vacation

1 Reaching For The Stars
2 What About You
3 Better Than Goodbye
4 Streetlights 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 I'm Cryin
11 Unlucky At Love
12 Someday I'm Gonna Be Famous

Brett Walker – Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Acoustic, Slide, Electric, and Bass unless otherwise noted.
Pat Leon – Drums: “Reaching For The Stars”, “What About You”, “I’ll Bet It Hurts”, “Better Than Goodbye”, “Someday I’m Gonna Be Famous”.
Steven Walker – Drums: “Good Enough” and “(Lady) Unlucky At Love”.
Tommy “Mugs” Cain – Drums: “So Happy I’m Cryin” and “Waiting For Love”
Tommy Rickard – Drums: “I’m Gonna Fly”, “More Than I” and “Street Lights Burning”.
Timothy Drury – Keyboards: “Waiting For Love”
Matt MacKelvie – Backing Vocals: “Waiting For Love” and Guitar Solo on “Someday I’m Gonna Be Famous”.
Todd Herfindal – Guitar: “I’m Gonna Fly”
Rich McCulley – Guitar: “I’m Gonna Fly”
Mark Camp – Bass: “Good Enough”

Nevertheless (1994)
Brett Walker & The Railbirds (1996)
Lift Off (2000)
Spirit Junky (2006)


Recorded at “Panic Room Records” in Laguna Beach, California with Engineer and Producer Weston Hodges

Released 2013-08-30
Reviewed 2013-08-26


Is it a twist of fate that happened to Brett Walker, I mean passing away less than a month before the release of his latest album is a bit ironic, isn’t it? But thanks to him being finished and the family being supportive in the release of the album we get to hear his final album of Brett’s. For those of you who doesn’t know Brett Walker I can say that you have probably heard some of his work considering him being responsible for television soundtracks, for several hit songs for other well known artists. He also has a few solo albums on his CV that unfortunately won’t get any bigger, my thoughts are with his family after his sad passing. Brett Walker passed away at 51, which frankly isn’t that old for a rock musician. However, if you think I will award sympathy points just because he passed away, then you are in error as it takes more than that for me to sympathise.

It is melodic rock music that is usually called westcoast, or AOR. It is catchy, melodic and with lots of emotion with many sing-along choruses and a fair bit of variation. The production is very good mixing good sound with a sense of emotional performance, that isn’t really that common these days when most melodic rock music is very overpolished and many times overproduced. I also think that Brett’s vocals are really strong on this album with twelve tracks and fifty two minutes of playing time. The playing time is actually a sensible one, which is probably down to the variation and the high quality of the songs.

Sure it is nothing that will go down in history as the most innovative album ever but somehow I doubt that was ever the point, and it has some good ventures into punkier and grungier sounds at times. I think this is a great album with great emotional contest and great mood, and great songs as well. It is an album I can listen to quite a few times in a row, and it is an album that is quite memorable in its best moments as well. I can’t see anything really wrong with it and I think it becomes a great legacy to this many due to its honesty and emotion. I wonder if he knew what was going to happen to him, it kind of sounds like a final album from a melodic rocker should sound.

He sings in the final day about how he someday is going to be famous, something ironic considering the fact that his music is in rather big TV-shows and such things. You have heard his work but you wouldn’t know it was his, I wonder if he will get famous posthumously. That would be ironic. I like that ending song a lot, the opening track is another one that impresses. It is called Reaching for the Stars and is a great catchy opener that sets a great tone for the following tracks. So the first and last along with a track called I’m Gonna Fly are the holy trinity of greatness of this album. Enjoyable album, I would say. I think I can recommend it as well.

I think Brett leaves on a high note, a testament to a great musical mind. And I am not just saying this because he recently passed away, I am saying because it is the truth. I think this is a great album and if you like melodic rock/AOR then I am certain that you will find this album very entertaining. It is just a bit sad that Brett will not experience himself getting famous as he will be with this brilliant album, buy it to make his dream come true.




Label: AOR Heaven/Germusica
Three similar bands: Gin Blossoms/Mark Spiro/Brian Howe
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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