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    John Butler:

    What You Want (EP)

    Mon, 23 Aug 2004 15:16:37

    Album Reviews: What You Want (EP) by John Butler

    The press kit for this six-song EP praises John Butler's "intangible, indistinguishable" sound, which might be a typo if it weren't entirely accurate. Butler is a dreadlocked Aussie dude with quick-picking fingers all over his acoustic-slide guitar and a soulless voice which seems unimproved by all those years of busking. Call him a subequatorial version of the Counting Crows, with jam band pretensions.

    Although Butler puts most of his effort into the orchestral/melodic title track, the standout is "Treat Yo Mama (Country Funk Version)," solidified by its metronomic standup-bass signature and Arabian-nights slide-guitar solo. But the cover of "Across the Universe" is a mistake, drawing attention to Butler's vocal limitations. And the 12-minute live "Betterman" features an entire coffee-break full of jamming. Butler's a talented guitarist, but he's too bloody serious, and generally at a loss for content. - Mark Desrosiers

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