Of course, the release of „Straight Jacket Vacation“ is completely overshadowed by the surprising passing of Brett Walker. The more difficult it is under these circumstances, to write a review about his new album, as you can not listen to it completely free of sorrow and dismay. While Brett Walker’s first solo album „Nevertheless,“ was one of the best Melodic Rock albums released in the 1990s, his later albums were more in a slightly softer singer/ songwriter-oriented direction.
„Straight Jacket Vacation“ returns to the sound of „Nevertheless,“ even if it does not quite match its energy and insouciance. However, there are new songs like „Reaching For The Stars“, „Better Than Goodbye“, „More Than I“ or „Unlucky At Love“ which follow the stylistic waters of the debut and feature the classic Brett Walker songwriting style that easily gets his influences from Bryan Adams, Tom Petty and Paul McCartney under a hat.
Special highlights of the album in my ears are the beautiful ballad „So Happy I‘m Cryin ‚“ and the remake of „Waiting For Love“. The early 1990s Brett Walker and Jeff Paris penned track was a hit at that time to the AOR cult band ALIAS and due to its great chorus still stands a bit far out on „Straight Jacket Vacation“.