Smooth jazz superstar Jonathan Butler gets his album, Surrender, off to a surprisingly rootsy start with "This Is Love," featuring live drums and Butler's trademark vocals. Butler has always expressed a deep soul influence and the whole album has a Stevie Wonder-lite sound about it. Despite the fact that the guitarist favors belabored introductions that merely set up predictable melodies and grooves, fans of Butler should find much to enjoy here. "Take Me Back" has a nice folk feel, kind of like James Taylor meets Babyface and contains just the hint of African vocal harmony on the intro. Similarly, "Back to Love" is a catchy R&B groover with much crossover appeal. This track, as others on Surrender, might have benefited from slightly hipper production, such as a two-step dance beat à la Craig David's "Fill Me In," but satisfies nonetheless.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar