Butterfly Jones has a 60s lyrical sound with a 90s musical backdrop

As I was listening to Butterfly Jones’ first, self-titled release, I could not help but notice that this is the 21st century. Too bad for Butterfly Jones.The band has a 60s lyrical sound with a 90s musical backdrop. Guitarist and vocalist Michael Gurley and drummer Phil Leavitt, both of the obscure Southern California band, “Dada” fame, joined with John Scaglione and Mark Harris to form the band after “Dada’s” demise.The bands lyricism reminded me a lot of Bob Dylan. Their music has an undeniable Southern California sound, and it has an unrelenting optimism throughout the entire album. Bands similar to this one include Blind Melon, Radiohead, Sugar Ray and Lit.The band’s music and lyricism do go together; however, they could not accomplish what bands like Blind Melon and Lit can. In order to make good positive music, it has to run deep. Butterfly Jones just seemed superficial, like in a spontaneous “let’s all go to the beach and get drunk” kind of way.That should not take away from their art, though. Most of the pop and rock industry is built on superficiality, and I, for one, will not single out this band for the critic inquisition.I particularly liked “Wonder,” “Blue Roses” and “The Systematic Dumbing Down of Terry Constance Jones.” The latter is an extremely interesting song. Of all the songs on the album it is undoubtedly the most intelligently written. The song details how a woman, who grew up more true to herself and her soul than to society, is influenced by magazines and TV to become everything she used to hate. Pretty ironic that the song was sung and written by a man.This band is good, I will confess. Those of you who enjoy sunny, whimsical music will like Butterfly Jones, and I recommend the album to you.

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