Albums - Walternative (1999)

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Fundamental Roll and Not Shy were amazing, HiFi, The Last Stroll and Wild Exhibitions were great, but - to my mind anyway - Walternative is Walter Egan's magnum opus. Released in 1999 on WE Records, this album showcases the wealth of influences that have spawned Egan's music. Pop, rock, surf, folk, country and even reggae sounds can be heard throughout and it is a pleasure to the ears. Part of this eclectic sound may be due to the fact that, rather than write everything himself, Egan teamed up with other songwriters on about half of the tracks. He also shares vocal duties on two of the tracks, dueting with Joy Lynn White on "The Truth" and Brian Waldschlager on "Vergin' On Tears."

Further enhancing the experience is the fact that Walternative really shows how much Walter Egan has matured as a songwriter. There is a great deal more depth to his lyrics on this album than on any Egan record before it. There are still a few tracks that are just plain fun and even a little silly- "Happy Home," "Beats the Devil," and "Waitin' for Fred" - but with lyrics like "witness the way in which I swallowed your line, so easily convinced the very first time" from "The Bias of Love" it's clear that this isn't an album by the fun-loving twenty-something that brought us Fundamental Roll and Not Shy. This is an album by a grown, mature man.

With the liner notes to Walternative, Egan also showcases the fact that he is more than just a musician - he's an artist as well (and even holds a BA in Fine Arts). Several examples of his artwork are printed in the notes, including this one, titled "Ended Summer," and "Elvis," shown to the right of Album Details (more examples of Egan's artwork, in the form of woodcuts, can be seen in the liner notes to the 1992 Lindsey Buckingham solo album Out of the Cradle):

Favorites on this album include "There Goes My Girl" (a lyrically simplistic but aurally stunning song infused with heavy reggae influence), "Drawn to the Flame," "The Bias of Love," and "Goin' Home," but there isn't any filler to be found here.

Let Go
2. There Goes My Girl - Listen to a sample! (sample approx. 1 min long, 634K)
3. Land of the Living
4. Drawn to the Flame
5. Strange Love Affair
6. Vergin' on Tears
7. The Tide and the Sea
8. Happy Home
9. The Truth
10. Beats the Devil
11. Nobody Dreams Anymore
12. The Bias of Love - Listen to a sample! (sample approx. 1 min long, 626K)
13. Get Out of the Kitchen
14. Goin' Home - Listen to a sample! (sample approx. 1 min long, 608K)
15. Waitin' For Fred

Album Details:

1999, WE Records

Produced by Walter Egan with Shane Gue and Jim Stelluto

Engineered by Jim and Shane

Album Design and Graphics: Jim Stelluto, Matt Herzer, and Walter Egan

Recorded October 1998 to February 1999 at Entropy Recording at Bobby Thompson's SoundCheck, Nashville, U.S.A.

All instruments and voices by Walter Egan except:
    *Drum loops and some keyboards by Shane
    *Joy Lynn White, vocals on "The Truth"
    *Brian Waldschlager, vocals on "Vergin' On Tears"

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