Butterfly Jones’ debut album, “Napalm Springs,” is a strange mixture of rock, pop, western-style rebellion and poetic insights.

Many of the lyrics are an especially interesting component to the album for their aesthetically pleasing, yet simple way of describing passion and pain.

Former dada front man Michael Gurley and drummer Phil Leavitt have come back to the music scene to create this strange and enticing new band.

The first song, “Napalm Springs,” opens the CD with soft guitar sounds and Gurley’s addictive voice.He sings, “Damn this imagination / It’s never done me any good so far / My mind is always racin’ / Through the gutters of your / neighborhood in the stars.” This is an awesome song with brilliant poetry.

“Suicide Bridge” is easy-going and profoundly introspective at the same time, and contains a beautiful medley of violin, viola and cello. Gurley sings repetitively and softly, using interesting lyrics to promote this beautiful ballad of hope and change.

The album’s first single, “Anywhere But Now,” starts

slowly to tease and transitions into a fast, poppy rock chorus that is extremely catchy. Gurley sings lovingly, “I swear you changed my water into wine.” It’s an exciting and lyrically satisfying love song.

“Sophie” has gorgeous qualities, even though Gurley’s voice seems whiny at times. This song of longing is slow and soft. The girl comes alive through the lyrics, but the chorus repeats one too many times.

The fifth track has a surprising transition between the laid-back first lines and the horribly poppy chorus. Many of the rhymes in “Alright” are too expected, but are redeemed by the strange, unexplainable sounds the song produces.

“Are We in Love Again” has the same lyrical theme as Alicia Keys’ “Fallin.'” It begins, “Monday was our big disaster /Tuesday we fell back in bliss.” The extremely high pitches that Gurley hits are a little scary, but oddly reassuring. Sometimes it’s good to hear a guy that’s not afraid to hit a crazy pitch.

“Wonder” is a weird little song. Some of it is very pretty, but other parts are just too disgusting to listen to. It has the worst lyrics of the CD, but the rest of the song’s insight makes up for them, at least in part.

The very beginning of “Sunshine and Ecstacy” is grossly hyper. Then it winds down to a few cool lines, until the chorus once again makes me dizzy. I suppose it might be good at a beach scene of a summer blockbuster.

The tone of “Blue Roses” is more my style. The chorus is melodious. After poetically explaining the taunting of “summer girls,” Gurley sings about his uniquely “strange” girl. “But … my girl she’s in her room / Melting candle wax / Unto my heart she drips the dart / That lets my mind relax.”

“The Systematic Dumbing Down of Terry Constance Jones” rocks. It’s an extremely fast-paced song about a woman who abandons her brain for superficialities. “She used to be a chemist / Now she wants to be a clone / With all her magazines and TV queens / She still feels so alone.”

The next two songs, “When People are Mean” and “It’s Cool Dude,” aren’t that great. The lyrics usually lack originality, though some show a true understanding of life in their simplicity.

“Dreamtime” is heartfelt and smooth. “The world is a rainbow / Turned black and white / That’s why you got to find somebody / To spend the night.” It’s another adorable love song.

“Please” is pretty in its sounds, but pretty pathetic lyrically compared to the vibrant poetry in many of the other songs. It’s a very sad ending to a usually brilliant CD.

The album has some sentimental Elliot Smith tones, yet at other times boasts the ecstatic qualities of Third Eye Blind. This is not to say it’s unoriginal ? Napalm Springs is one of the most sweetly daring albums of the year. The songs, though a few have depressingly bad qualities, are a very eclectic mix from an ultimately thrilling band.

Plus, there’s a hot chick on the back cover in a cute little camouflage bikini. Enjoy.

Schaefer can be reached at jschaefer@campustimes.org.



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