This obscure singer/songwriter from Oxford dropped his first solo EP, Umbrella Songs, in 2004. However, he has been involved in a variety of other musical outfits including Missing Pieces, Mono Band, Theremin and Polysoul. While rising in popularity in UK, Walter and his other musical endeavors still struggle to make it state side. The Animal is Walters’ latest effort to make it solo.
Steady guitar acoustics begin The Animal alongside Walters’ soft and warmingly emotional words on “Brittle Bones.” From there, the album unfolds with raining piano and guitar rhythms throughout, like on “Weather Song,” a song as representative of Walters’ solo style as any song on the album. That’s because all of the songs on The Animal are analogously indiscernible, with the only variant being Walters’ lyrics, which passionate as they may be, lack that element of striking wit that we expect from a singer/songwriter. A few tracks pepper in drums and flutes, although this gives no break from seemingly scripted uniformity of the album.
On this album, Walters demonstrates his expressive guitar vocal style. Over and over again. That’s not to say there isn’t good music on The Animal; the title track is a particularly soulful and somber number. Still, the bland melodies that saturate this album can be simply sedating. Only sincere fans of Walters’ work will find fulfillment in The Animal.