Album Review: Clay Walker – Fall
It doesn’t feel like it’s been four years since Clay Walker released his last album, A Few Questions, but indeed, it has. During that time, he learned Spanish and spent a year searching for songs with acclaimed producer Keith Stegall for his eighth album and first release on Curb Records. The result, Fall, is a decent quality album with Clay Walker’s unique stamp all over it. Granted it was released in mid-April, I had to wait for a straggling copy to make its way to my desk before finally getting a chance to give it a few listens, so forgive me for being a little late.
The opening track and first single was received by radio back in 2006 and made its way up to #21 on the charts before starting its descent. In the amusing “‘Fore She Was Mama”, Walker sings about learning of his mother’s wild past before he was born and paints a picture or two most people would rather not imagine. The following track and current single, “Fall,” is a plea to his lover to trust him to support her and build her back up when she needs it. Walker considers it to be one of his favorite tracks from the album and I have to agree.
Continuing the romantic theme started by “Fall,” is “Workin’ Man,” about a man “workin’ on a thing called love.” It’s not a bad song and he does a good job singing it, but these kinda songs are a dime a dozen. “Miami and Me” suffers from the same tired fate as “Workin’ Man.” Walker had a hand in writing the lyrics to the amorously induced “She Like It In The Morning” himself. Again, there’s really nothing special about the song.
“Mexico” has a little more flavor and seems to lean heavily on one of Walker’s previous hits, “Then What,” but it doesn’t have the attitude and the production trick with a half hearted laugh in the middle sounds completely contrived. “You’re My Witness” is a song about the idea that spouses give meaning and validity to each other as they witness the other’s life. Walker sings the song to his spouse, but it can be applied to any relationship. It’s a pleasant song that fits well with Walker’s style. Breaking from the love schtick is the upbeat song, “Average Joe,” celebrating ordinary men everywhere, but alas, it’s just as the title suggests, average. I didn’t particularly care for the story spun throughout “It Ain’t Pretty (But It’s Beautiful)”, but the chorus was insightful and full of emotion.
Finally, what I consider to be the highlight of the album, is Clay Walker’s first ever duet, “Before The Next Teardrop Falls.” Freddy Fender joins Walker on a cover of this Fender original about being ready to swoop in to cheer up a girl the first time her current love makes her cry. While reading Clay’s biography, he mentioned singing it at a wedding and upon giving it another listen, it does indeed make a fantastic wedding song.
The beautiful “I’d Love To Be Your Last” follows. It’s a different style for Walker, but he excels at it. It sounds like the perfect happy ending to a movie and would have made a good ending for the album. Instead, “I Hate Nights Like This,” a song about feeling lonely on nights that are perfect to be spending with a lover, tops off the album. Somehow, I don’t see Clay Walker ever being lonely.
I’m sure this album will more than suffice for his fans, but I was hoping for more. At least Clay Walker got to show off the Spanish skills he picked up in the last four years because it seems like after a year of searching for material, he could have come up with better. Don’t get me wrong, I think he did a masterful job of delivering the chosen material, but the majority of the songs seemed to be lacking in everything but fluff.
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