Things get a whole lot hotter down south as the summer months steadily approach. Even with a brisk winter, one artist can fast forward to those warm nights full of outside partying. Alex Butler rolls the windows down and revs it up in the wild ride album Crazy Town. The Mississippi native provides escapist fantasies to all anxiously anticipating the summertime adventures. Across nine tracks we get a look at how Butler has become the latest trending artist in streaming.
Butler wastes no time in kicking off his summer ride through a slow drive that picks up steams. “Back Road Dreaming” is the opener that fuels a raucous side into the south and explore the life of its youth. While memories of fireside chats deep in the backwoods heat up the track, we hear Butler’s vulnerable side. Part of what leaves this exposed is Butler’s vocal style which mirror the signature spoken word singing of the late Tom Petty. The strong Missourian twang and distant cousin riff of “Summer of 69” make this track the perfect summer anthem to start the party.
Though the singer can show out on a rowdy first impression, Butler is able to bring it down a bit. For the track that makes you want to grab your partner and swing around the country field, “Summertime Rolls Around’ adds a little restraint. Coupled with an exciting chorus and a powerful electric guitar, the track’s eagerness for making memories in hotter weather leaves everyone in the cold feeling envy. This song and dance relationship wouldn’t be the last that Butler brings to the table. In the appropriately named “Guitar and a Love Song”, the singer introduces this dynamic again. Albeit Butler tones it down to a summertime ballad with plenty of room to slow dance. Which gives the singer plenty of time to remind all the couples that material possession can’t equal to the love you bestow to others.
But after plenty of sentiment and a landslide of emotion, Butler shows no fear in picking it backup again. The album’s self-titled track brings out the need for everyone to hear they’re “go-to” song when the weekend hits. “Crazy Town” shakes every feeling of waiting for the workday to end and the party to start. Many will recognize the track for officially introducing Butler across streaming platforms. The track has already amassed over 114,000 listeners on his Spotify account and continues to grow.
Butler’s call and response relationship with the electric guitar comes to life once again. The riff powers through the chorus and elevates the singer’s voice to new heights when we finally “reach town”. Even through the soft moments Butler accentuates, he can still drive the beat before it fades into nothing for its end.
Last call happens at the most unwanted moments during every good time. Just like that, the singer brings the party to a close after a lively night out. But not before adding one last slow dance before finally wrapping it up. “You Are” adds the atmosphere that any couple could dream of as they reminiscence over one of the most important figures in someone’s life, a parent. As the discussions of insecurity and idolization are brought to light, the singer’s voice stands firm. Each piano note blends harmoniously with Butler’s voice and adds depth to his acoustic approach. This change in tone with the same instrumentation brings out the singer’s artistic ability and talent for producing tears.
After a party-hard night, slow dance and a few crazy slides, we finally reach the end. But like any performer, Butler has one last encore before calling it. The stripped-down acoustic side of his previous tracks would only be a teaser for the finale. Butler shows off the tenderness surrounding “Guitar and a Love Song”. In this new version he shares the raw nature and simple formula behind the song that can make the listener pull their partner in closer. While the moment lingers, they quickly dissipate as the album signals its end.
Butler’s official debut shakes off the burrow and snow from a hard winter and trades it for a hot sun. Crazy Town acts as a good appetizer for all who await the summer months that are around the corner. With a cold beer and a cool breeze, Butler can turn any night in the south into a party.
Written by Trenton Luber