After reviewing Mark Sweeney’s (CRYSTAL BALL) soft and soothing “Slow Food” album, I was eager for another ballad extravaganza. However, where “Slow Food” was fresh and interesting, Brett Walker’s “Spirit Junky” is boring and interminable.
After listening to “Spirit Junky” three full times, I was shocked to realize I couldn’t remember how any of the songs went. That’s the main problem with this record; all of the songs are so bland that none of them stand out. From one acoustic-laden track to the next, all the songs seem to flow together into one hour-long track of insane boredom.
However, in terms of musicianship, everything’s solid. Walker has a very smooth, soothing voice, and he never misses a note. His playing, both on the acoustic and the occasional electric guitar, are quite fine, though very repetitive at times. You’d think that in addition to his instrumental talents, he’d also be a great songwriter, but sadly, such is not the case.
If you can only buy one super-soft Melodic Rock release this summer, don’t waste your hard-earned cash on “Spirit Junky”. The album is tired and derivative, and there are no standout tracks here, just mediocre acoustic fluff. Instead, opt for Mark Sweeney’s “Slow Food”, which is an infinitely better album on all counts.
(Online July 15, 2007)