Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Album Review: Butcher Brown - Solar Music

Butcher Brown
Solar Music
***and1/2 out of *****

The newest album from the Richmond, VA groove collective Butcher Brown is titled Solar Music as the group continue to weave their mix of jazz, funk, and hip-hop, with unique results.  

The group consists of producer / keyboardist DJ Harrison; drummer Corey Fonville; bassist Andrew Randazzo; trumpeter / saxophonist / MC Marcus “Tennishu” Tenney; and guitarist Morgan Burrs who all come together around the focal groove. Butcher Brown get their best results when all of their loves coalesce in one strong song. An effort like "If It Was Me (Car Chase)" finds stout lyrics being deployed over a killer bass line and jazzy accents, synching up in the best possible way. 

Other tracks that bring it all home are "Eye Never Knew" Feat Pink Siifu and Keyon Harrold which uses a hip hop foundation around twinkling horns, breathy vocals, swirling jazz synths and a head rocking/phasing finale while the Michael Jackson, EDM influenced "MOVE (RIDE)" is a ripping disco get down jam featuring Jay Prince. The band uses "Happy Hourrr" as a distorted launching pad to the hip hop beats of "Run It Up" once again featuring Pink Siifu before the tune closes with sticky sweet horn work that is simply tasty.    

Those combining of genres is where Butcher Brown work best, but when they stay in single lanes things can be rewarding as well. The group channel seventies soul in Earth Wind & Fire style for the excellent, deep funk of "No Way Around It" and the horn, synth, deep bass work of "This Side of Sunshine". 

When the group goes full hip-hop, like on the brief "Half of It" featuring Nappy Nina, or the easy rolling groove of "DYKWYD" featuring Braxton Cook things are fine but not particularly memorable. Better is the 90's tribute "Pink Fur" featuring Michael Millions which uses keys/synths, and huge drums to flush out the retro hip-hop sound.  

Butcher Brown never sit still, combining their loves in unique fashion as the group keeps things fresh yet remembers the past with ease throughout Solar Music
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

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