People Move On
It must have been hard for Bernard Butler to leave the phenomenally successful Suede, a band that had become the hub around which the British pop scene turned. But by the release of Dog Man Star, the artistic differences between the guitarist and his bandmates were irreconcilable. Suede wanted to be glam pop stars; Butler wanted to be Neil Young. The autobiographical People Move On offers an intimate peek inside Butler’s diary over the past few years. Here he takes free license to exorcise his demons and, literally, find his own voice. Heard for the first time on this record, Butler’s singing voice is sweet, clear, and highly emotive, a perfect vehicle for these deeply personal songs about following his artistic vision (i.e. “You Just Know”) and his relationship with his wife (specifically, “Woman I Know” and the single, “Not Alone”).
Butler’s musical influences are rooted in the time-worn classics. “A Change of Heart” is “Knockin’ on Heavens’ Door” rewritten as an inspirational love song while the acoustic guitar of “You Light the Fire” is sweetly reminiscent of Steve Howe’s effortless guitar noodling on “Mood for Day.” “Autograph,” an eight-minute cerebral sojourn complete with unbridled guitar jam interlude, invites favorable comparison to Traffic’s “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.” For all of its subtle and understated beauty, Bernard Butler’s People Move On rages hotter than a burning Kuwaiti oil field.