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Butch Rice - Acoustic Pop is a very unique album.

Joel Timothy
Broadcast Music

The only reason I am not giving this album five stars is because I want to reserve that honor for Mr. Rice's next album. Between the first notes of the first song, "Why Won't This Heart,"and the final chord in the last song, 'Low," you come away from this album asking yourself, "how can something  so simple be so complex?" Or"How can something so mellow be so intense?" The answer to these questions is simple: Butch Rice is a brilliant songwriter with a voice that is so powerful and so emotional that when you combine that voice with his well-crafted lyrics and his accomplished guitar style, you get - well, as the title implies, Acoustic Pop. Yes, it is pop, yet it is bare-bones acoustic. With this album, Butch Rice proves that intensity, soul and energy can all be achieved with three simple elements - one voice, one guitar, and one hell of a collection of original songs. The melodies glue themselves to the inside of your head. But that's a good thing. There's no escaping the memorable hooks and hearfelt lytics. The guitar work is a tantalizing study in contrasts; just as your ear settles into a comfortable three or four chords, your mind blinks - what was that? Was that a little jazz chord thrown in there? Whoa, there it is again. It is a very unique style. And then . . . and then, there's that VOICE. The initial impact ricochets in your head for a moment and then becomes laser-focused that this is the unique voice of Butch Rice. The depth, the soul, the power and control - it is unlike any voice you've ever heard. It grabs you, picks you up - sometimes even holds you over a cliffor out of a high-rise window, but it always brings you back and sets you down on safe ground. Whether the voice drives the lyrics or the lyrics drive the voice - it doesn't matter because it all adds up to an incredible experience. Butch Rice - Acoustic Pop is a great album. This album is living proof that some of the best music out there today is not coming from the big, monolithic mega-labels, but instead from the smaller independent labels like ear X-tacy who believe that great songs by great artists will endure beyond the labels who are constantly chasing their tails looking for and trying to create the next big trend. Not a trend - Butch Rice is the real thing. Do yourself some good and buy this CD.

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