Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review -- GEOFF BERNER -- Klezmer Mongrels

KLEZMER MONGRELS
Geoff Berner
Jericho Beach Music
7.5-out-of-10
Ah yes, Geoff Berner, a musician I will never forget, although I must say he's not quite my favourite either.
Berner's previous CD The Wedding Dance of the Widow Bride was up for a Solo Roots Award at the 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards, and this one certainly follows stylistically.
The question is whether you like the style. Berner works to his own beat to say the least. His music is heavily influenced by traditional Eastern European rhythms, mixed with startlingly weird and unusual lyrics.
Now I generally like strange, and this fits that. Still Berner's earlier CD didn't quite work for me. Maybe a bit too weird (yes I did say that).
This one is more of the same, the lyrics are very tongue-in-cheek, although at times they carry more meaning too.
Now I had to smile at a song such as The Whiskey, and I understood the deeper impact hidden in a song such as Half German Girlfriend.
So, maybe Berner is winning me over just a bit. At least the score on this one is up a point, as I learn to appreciate the originality of taking accordion based traditional music and layering on the original lyrics a melding Berner does carry of flawlessly.
If you like your music way out on the edge, check out this one at www.geoffberner.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper March 18, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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