Marc Berger, Ride

Marc Berger, <I>Ride</I>

Were you as disappointed in the most recent Bruce Springsteen album, Wrecking Ball, as I was? I’m not saying that it was necessarily a bad album, but it just seemed to be so typical of Bruce Springsteen. It wasn’t what I would call the best of his music, and there is this whole theory by Charles Bukowski about how if your newest work isn’t your best, then perhaps you shouldn’t be making it, but I digress. My point is that a lot of what I think I was hoping to find in the new Springsteen album — and didn’t — I instead have found in this album by Marc Berger.

Marc Berger has the sound of a singer/songwriter that can dip in and out of the country realm, but overall, it’s just this down to earth, gritty sort of vibe. These are anthems for the working-class man. Comparisons to Johnny Cash would also be accurate, as Berger has that seemingly country-but-really-not sound to him. Even the great Lou Reed can be heard coming through at various points in the songs.

More so than the quality of this music, which again is what I believe Bruce Springsteen should be representative of and what others like Johnny Cash and Lou Reed did do, are the songs themselves. “Ride” is a nice song about how cowboys used to ride the land and now it’s all been taken over by K-Marts and McDonald’s. For an album released in 2012, however, you’d think there’d be a better reference than K-Mart, because they simply are not everywhere the way McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Walmart are, but there are still those people who still have K-Marts, so I can’t fully fault Berger for that.

Also, maybe him singing about K-Mart just goes to show that he is a bit out-of-sync with the times. Marc Berger seems like an older soul, if not an older man in practical years, and I can tell you right now that my father never shops at Target. So in some ways, yes, I guess the K-Mart reference does work.

The song “Montana” could be to Berger what “Mississippi” is to Bob Dylan, except that I forget 95% of the time that Montana is actually a state and not just a clever last name for a teen pop star. And then you have a song like “Time Waits for No Man,” which is about something we can all relate to: getting drunk and losing your van.

Although I have a certain distaste for what would be described as “country and western,” I believe that while Marc Berger might linger on that label, he doesn’t stay strictly to it, despite how the song content might make it seem. Sure, this would be appealing to those who are fans of country music, but you don’t have to like country music to like these songs.

(Real Records; Marc Berger --; Marc Berger (Facebook) --; Marc Berger (Bandcamp) --; Marc Berger (ReverbNation) --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, July 16th, 2013. Filed under Reviews.

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