Jerry Butler

Time & Faith

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Jerry Butler was 52 when, in 1992, he recorded Time & Faith. At that point in his life, the Iceman was no longer a full-time singer -- he was putting most of his energy into politics and held the title of Cook County Commissioner in his native Chicago. But while he had placed music on the back burner, Butler hadn't given it up altogether. Time & Faith is the work of an artist who was past his prime, both commercially and creatively, but it isn't a bad album -- and even though the Iceman's voice wasn't what it was in the 1960s and 1970s, he's still likable. Time & Faith is fairly unpredictable; while "Trying to Break the Habit" is a bluesy soul number, the ballads "I Was Right About You" and "You're the Only One" are essentially adult contemporary. The Impressions graduate also turns his attention to everything from reggae-pop (Jimmy Cliff's "Sitting in Limbo") to country-pop (Willie Nelson's "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground"). Despite being generally decent, Time & Faith isn't for the casual listener, who would be much better off with a collection of Butler's classic Vee-Jay or Mercury output. But if you're a collector or a die-hard fan, this little-known CD is worth searching for.

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