Butterfly's Release is Michael Dyer's fifth CD. As on his earlier CDs, he composes, arranges, sings and plays all non-percussive instruments (keyboards, guitar, harmonica, bass) for each song. He even designs his own album covers. Most of his songs have some unique lyrical, vocal or instrumental feature. For instance, in 'Roller Coaster Lover' he makes effective use of slide guitar (and also speeds-up/slows-down parts of the song) to give the listener a sense of being on a roller coaster. Lyrically, the song is also interesting, with lines such as: 'Now I'm astride, a gorgeous Jekyll and Hyde on the far side, about to collide, my heart all liquified. ... My day-glo poster, poppin' toaster lover, my gotta-have-the-most-of-her, roller coaster lover. My burnin'-bright, hot-lava-site roaster lover. ...' In 'You Can Syncopate Your Lovin' Rate' he sings multiple harmonies in a syncopated manner; that is, the harmonies are staggered - either immediately preceding or following the main melody line. I must say that, for an artist without a live drummer, Dyer makes very effective (and selective) use of synthesized and/or prerecorded drum segments. In this song the drums almost seem to play as a lead instrument against the lead guitar during the musical interludes. Several other songs also have multi-part harmonies. For instance, Michael Dyer states that the song 'Drastic'ly Drooping' was inspired by the multiple harmonies and alliteration of the Crosby, Stills & Nash song 'Helplessly Hoping' and yet it's interesting that Dyer's song, even though it also has alliteration and multi-part harmonies, sounds quite different from the song that inspired it. Two of Dyer's songs on this CD are within the blues genre. 'Tar Paper Blues' is a blues song that should become an instant classic for anyone who enjoys blues because, although it stays within the standard blues genre, it is refreshingly new, with an interesting guitar-picking style and beautiful harmonica duets. The lyrics are also quite good (which is unusual for most blues songs). For example, at the end he sings: 'Can't even manage to sit. Gotta lie down an' take it. My playin' cards, I fold. My queen of hearts is cold. My furniture, sold, an' no one to hold. Got the blues, tar paper blues. No daylight hues to these blues, dark tar paper blues, just pitch black, midnight, no light in sight, tar paper blues.' This song demonstrates that Dyer can really sing blues and also can play harmonica quite skillfully. The other blues song, 'I'm Not Some Reprobate', is unusual in that it makes use of chord progressions that are non-standard for blues, while still employing blues-style guitar riffs. This song also has wonderful lyrics: '... Don't hate me, but lately, I feel like a neonate. Been late on the up-take. Now I can not satiate, my need for another date with you ... I'm not a manipulator. Won't take you down the up elevator. I'm not some potentate. Can't control what's to be our fate...' Several of the songs on this CD are very beautiful while at the same time cover melancholy or dark themes. For instance, the title song 'Butterfly's Release' is about the loss of love ('I'm alone as I can be. Your single tear has decimated me. Nowhere now to go but down. Hear the waves crashing sound. ... And I wonder where loves hides, when the rose is turned aside. And I wonder how love ceased, with the butterfly's release.') 'We're All A Work In Progress' is about the death of a friend of his daughter's: '... We're all a work in progress, extinction just a step away. My daughter lost a good friend, just the other day. That chain has now been broken. Cannot be repaired. Destiny has spoken. Her fate could not be spared...' Drastic'ly Drooping' at first appears to be about flowers that are withering because their owner won't water them: '... Sadly now stooping, her snapdragons squeezing on stones, no moisture at home. Limping, her lilacs are lacking the last of her love, that once came from above...' It turns out to be a song about a woman who has lost her lover and the withered roots of the flowers are symbolic of her inability to have children: '... How heavy the heart, when lovers so linked, must peel roots apart, with hellish heart stains. How hard to heal hopes, when hopelessness rains...' 'Darkest Night of My Souls' appears to be about a time when Dyer may have contemplated suicide, but was saved by a vision of his love: '... Behind, all my dreams, in ruin. Ahead, an abyss. Just some winds blew in, for a final kiss. ... Darkest night of my soul. Gun by my bed. One-bullet chamber, aimed for my head. Time about to stand still. What might have been, never will ... Then an image took hold ...Your knowing eyes appeared, full of tears ...' Other songs have more positive themes. 'Cupid's Dirty Ol' Dart' gives advice to a friend who has been mistreated in a love: '... So you got some shattered goals, some of love's, small potholes. So you got a broken heart, just what you need to make new start. ... Just yank out Cupid's dirty ol' dart! ...' 'Countin' Down' is a fast-paced song about the singer counting down the days, hours, minutes, seconds to when he will be reunited with his love: 'Countin' down the months for the one he hunts for. Countin' down the weeks 'til he touches her cheeks. Countin' down the days and all the ways to love her when she comes. Love her when she stays...' Two lovely songs are 'Old Gold Bands' and 'Love Her Shoulders When They're Bare'. The former is about lovers who have been together for a long time: '... You're the breeze that blows my mind, your laughter, coming up from behind. You're my sunrise, on the sands, a bonfire with holding hands and old, gold bands. ...' The latter is about expressing love for every part of one's lover's body: '... Love her eyes, so very wise. See the skies, in their surprise. ...Love her thighs, how she sighs. Makes me high. Makes me fly. Love her loins like golden coins. Where we meet. Where we join...' Michael Dyer is a virtuoso guitar player with an excellent song-writing ability and sense for musical arrangement. Michael Dyer's fifth CD: Butterfly's Release will provide an alluring, complex and subtle musical experience for any listener who enjoys songs within the soft-rock genre.