I was hooked when I first heard the chorus to Butch Walker's "Stay Gold":
"You gotta stay gold, now Ponyboy"
That line comes from the book The Outsiders, later made into a movie of the same name, a book I first read while in junior high school. The first song brought out a sense of nostalgia in me that stays throughout the album Stay Gold.
Walker's last album, Afriad of Ghosts, was introspective, dark, melancholy and at times, a hard listen. Stay Gold is nostalgic, lighter while still introspective and every bit as good. Really, it's just a good rock album with some country-ish Americana leanings.
Much of Stay Gold reminds me of, though not derivative of, the music from the 80's movie Eddie and the Cruisers. It has that same kind of vibe. In fact the album really has an overall 80's music kind of vibe, you know the good stuff like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty.
There is something for country music fans with "Descending", the duet with country singer Ashley Monroe, with the line "I just want you to worry about me, every once in a while / I just need a sign of life to get me by."
Overall, it's just a great record to put on and drive, or sit on the patio with friends and adult beverages. No skips necessary.
Here's the lyric video to the title track, check out the dude in the back with afro, ironically not dressed in gold.