Grace and Mercy
2012 / Rendezvous
Review by Michael Debbage
While Jonathan Butler is well known for his R&B crooning as well as his super Smooth Jazz guitar capabilities, Butler’s music and inspiration has always also been rooted in gospel music. Since 2004, Grace And Mercy will represent his third effort in this arena, the first being The Worship Project that was driven by the simple melodic choruses. This was followed up in 2007 by the more gospel driven Brand New Day that was not quite as accessible but nevertheless inspiring. Butler’s latest offering Grace and Mercy falls somewhere in between, amalgamating both styles resulting in another praise worthy album.
The strength of the album is propelled by the tearjerker “I Stand On Your Word” and without a doubt this is one the albums most compelling tracks that is more in line with material that came from The Worship Project. If this song does not move you then it is time for your yearly physical to make sure that your ears are functioning properly. Similar results can be found later in the album courtesy of the slow builder “I Know He Cares” compounded by the emotional lyrics and rare but more prominent appearance of Butler on guitar. Earlier on in the album there is the buoyant optimism found on “Give It Up To God” as well as the title track.
Otherwise, the lack of any horns and as well as Jonathan?s optimistic guitar that is missing in action, makes Grace And Mercy somewhat incomplete. Yet despite these mislaid important ingredients, this does not diminish some of the album’s very fine moments. But if you really want a full worship experience seek out The Worship Project.
November 26, 2012