Monday Melody – Set Me Free

Kept it really quiet this weekend:  no big outings, just chillaxing, checking in on my prayer partner and “other Mom,” and getting caught up on all that’s pending.   You know how Monday creeps up…

Hey, keep your eyes open for Embrace the Struggle’s first ever giveaway!  We’re closing in on our first blogaversary (June 29), so why not celebrate our debut year of blogging with a freebie for one lucky follower?  Details to follow!

Song/Album: “Set Me Free” by Myron Butler and Levi, on the album Set Me Free.

Why it made the cut:   The first time I heard this song was when Myron Butler and Levi performed it on an awards show. The syncopation, yelps, tribal beats, clapping, key changes, fiery vocals, and tight harmonies had me from the first note.  What energy and stage presence!  

All of the tracks on this, Myron’s debut album, are off the chain, making the CD very deserving of the Grammy nod it received.  There’s a freshness to the title track, however, that may very often be imitated but won’t easily be duplicated.  

When I can pry my ears away from the intricate arrangement (Butler’s vocal coach and choir directing skills are in full mode here), I can then meditate on the powerful yet simple message:  He set me free!  I’ve crossed over from darkness to light and stepped into new and abundant life.  The former things have truly passed away!

Artist:   Worship leader and gospel artist Myron Butler took the slow road to success, honing his skills as a choir director, vocal arranger, producer, and back-up singer before launching his debut album, Set Me Free, with his choir, Levi, in 2005.  

I first recall Myron singing with Kirk Franklin as part of God’s Property in the late 1990s, at which time he served as the choir’s vocal coach/director.  He would go on to work with renowned artists like Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Smokie Norful, Donald Lawrence, and Marvin Sapp, bringing elegant yet powerful vocal arrangements to their music.

The decision to go solo proved wise.  Set Me Free, while a contemporary gospel album, incorporates traditional, urban, and praise and worship elements and so drew fans from all of those genres.  The album was nominated for a Grammy and won four Stellar awards.

Myron’s fourth album, Worship, dropped in early 2012 and boasts the hit “Bless the Lord,” written by D.C. songwriter Fred Cleveland of the worship group Brandon Camphor and One Way.

Butler is the Minister of Music at the Potter’s House Church in Dallas, Texas, and lives in the Dallas area with his family.

Favorite lyrics:

I don’t even know where my life would be
If you hadn’t shown, shown Your love towards me
You broke the chains, the chains that were binding me
Gave me liberty, set me free!

Sweet spots: The solo by Candy West beginning at 2:27 and ending at 3:18, with the stop-in-your-tracks high note at 3:01 is awesome ear candy.  Love the finale as well!


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