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The Source

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Customer Reviews

The Last Great Butler Album

Jonathan Butler will always be one of my favorite artists. I have been a fan since I was a toddler...his music brings me back to my days of innocence. When he left the major label race in 1996, his style and his beliefs changed. He began writing more introspective, spiritual material. That's definitely well and good, but not necessarily my thing. This was the last album he made, before being a little more ambiguous about what he was singing or playing about. This album has all the stuff that makes a fantastic Jonathan CD. Track for track excellence, beautiful melodies, the ability to make the love song structure that much better. And that is the quality I've come to love in the mans music. The first track is a classic Butler love song, bringing all the imagery and grace he's known since coming out in 1986. The poppy Forever Tonight made it the first single, and isn't my favorite, but is nice to hear on occasion. Another Way dug into my brain and is still my favorite track on the CD. I Believe is a rootsy pop song, in the vain of maybe John Mellancamp at his poppiest. Lake Vibes is a classy instrumental, with a stunted hip hop beat and a simple structure. Love Doesnt Matter Now and Thinkin' Bout You remind me of Brian McKnight, but better. Shine a Light and I Found Myself In You are great songs that Toni Tony Tone wishes they could have recorded in their day. You Make me Whole is another lovely ballad and Won't Stop For Nothing is a shuffling little ditty that makes the end of the secular portion of this fantastic album. Nothing is needed to explain the rest of the album. The last 2 and a half tracks are religious music. Nothing special, but there because nowadays Butler loves the Lord more than his wife. Suffice it to say I don't like being beaten over the head with religion and I like these tracks but not as much as I like the other songs. Following this album was Butler's Major label return Surrender which was recorded so Butler could get a deal with Maranatha, Warner Brothers's Christian label. Just so you readers know, I didn't buy the "Worship Project" album, partly because of the religious aspect, partly cuz it's pretty cheezy. Preceding "The Source" was Story of Life which was a varying, ambiguous album. It had a lot more instrumentals than usual, and was altogether nice, but the imagery of some tracks was of course religious. Luckily his 2005 Album Jonathan (his 3rd self titled release) has a lot less worship and a lot more classic Butler. 8 of the 10 tracks there are instrumental but all very nice, and has a patriotic tune sung by his daughter. Kudos to Butler for sticking to what he knows, and seeing how religion is good, but not the way musically. I can only wish he'd return to what he used to make back when he was on Jive (I adored the 80's albums), but at least with The Source he can sound great secularly and in the now!! Check this one out, and hope iTunes will add his Jive releases sometime soon!!


Born: October, 1961 in Cape Town, South Africa

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '00s

South African expatriate Jonathan Butler isn't really a jazz artist, but his laid-back, slightly jazz-tinged approach to R&B/pop has earned the singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer a lot of supporters in the urban contemporary, adult contemporary, quiet storm, and smooth jazz/NAC markets. Butler has enjoyed a following since the late '70s, although he reached his commercial peak in the late '80s, and he continues to tour and record in the 21st century. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in October...
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The Source, Jonathan Butler
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