After a successful, albeit short run with the Digable Planets, Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler steps out on his own under the guise of Cherrywine.

After a successful, albeit short run with the Digable Planets, Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler steps out on his own under the guise of Cherrywine. Backed by a live band (consisting of multi-instrumentalists Thaddeus Turner, Gerald Tugboat Turner, and Bubba Jones), Cherrywine takes a more alternative approach to hip-hop on this solo debut. Intertwining elements of funk, jazz, and rock, Cherrywine makes a conscious effort to pick up where such groups as OutKast and the Roots have left off. "Gracefully" is fueled by funk-laced guitar licks, while "Dazzlement" finds Butler poking fun at rap music's rampant materialism and gangsta posturing. Intentions are good throughout Bright Black, and, at times, they impress. Still, the album falls flat. Such tracks as "So Glad for Baby" and "What I'm Talking" are lackluster. While not perfect, Bright Black shows promise of better things to come from Cherrywine.—RH

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