Myron Butler & Levi

Myron Butler & Levi
Set Me Free

ĎWho is Myron Butler? Why is that name so familiar?í Common questions, no doubt.

Myron Butler was one of the leaders of God's Property, and the members of (now) Levi were prominent in the choir. Butler and Candy West went on to sing backup with Kirk Franklin and were apart of the now defunct 1NC. Butler has since shown himself to be a phenomenal writer and producer, working with the likes of Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell, Ted and Sheri, Lejeune Thompson, the Potter's House Mass Choir and many others.

CDSome thought that they would never get back together, but Myron Butler & Levi knew better. Their season has now come with the release of their EMI Gospel debut, Set Me Free, and they do not disappoint. The project is simply crammed with gems and great songwriting.

For example, thereís "That Place", an old-fashioned Gospel number reminiscent of something Andrae Crouch might put together, but with a definite Myron Butler feel. Butler adds his old-school vocal flava while Levi shines with their butter background vocals.

"I Can" is a mid-tempo number that which could easily be Part II of "Faith", the song which Butler was featured on lead vocals on the God's Property album. Andrea Wallace steps in to share lead vocals here, adding that jazz flair that we so loved on the GP CD. Add in awesome musicianship and you get a cut that could have shaken any juke joint in the early 1900's, and is bound to do the same, albeit in a different setting, in 2005.

The title track is simply a delight. "Set Me Free" has a hint of hip hop and a good mix of urban contemporary Gospel. With its message of the liberating power of Jesus Christ, this is a sure-fire hit. Candy West solidifies things by dropping her always-potent vocals. Repeat worthy!

Musicianship on this album is focused on more than simply sequenced and programmed tracks, and "Latter Rain" is a perfect example. Horns, Rhodes, drums, and electric guitar
Set Me Free
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shine on this feel good tune. Butler both narrates and ad libs to encourage with the scripture that the "latter shall be greater that the former".

"That's Who You Are" is a beautiful worship song about God's majesty. The vocal arrangements allow Levi to really shine, demonstrating their versatility of style and texture. The worship continues with "Redeemed", which is filled with strings. Listen for Kirk Franklinís influence on Butlerís writing.

Debette Draper and Victor Evans were so great together with Godís Property on "The Storm is Over Now". Butler pairs them up again on "Survive". Their vocal chemistry remains potent and the lyrics of encouraging gem of a song are like icing on a cake.

For those who yearn for just one song to groove to, "Alright" is would be it, with Butler sharing the mic with Laron Vaughn. Call it pure jam to bump in your ride.

Yes, Myron Butler has been on the scene for a minute, but this is still a stunning headliner debut. People will finally know the talent and the anointing that has been placed on this young man's life.

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Producer: Myron Butler
album release date: November 8, 2005
EMI Gospel

— reviewed by Dwayne Lacy

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