» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Monique Berry
Cantata Entertainment Group

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
What do Sara McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Celine Dion, and Alanis Morissette have in common? They don't all play the exact same kind of music despite being under the category of mainstream pop. Each one has her own sound and a varying degree of talent. The common thread is that they are all young attractive women who have used their youth and attractiveness to become well known. Their music has become the defining feature of middle class white girls, not attractive yet not ugly. This music makes them feel like it's OK to have no more concerns than having fun and falling in love and that no one else can understand just how they feel. While those things seem important even to me, there is more, and people do understand, but that is not what I'm writing about.

Monique Berry sounds like a mixture of Celine Dion and Sara McLachlan. She has the straight side of Dion and the dirty side of McLachlan. Both the first and last song on the disc sound remotely like McLachlan offerings with Berry playing (that's right, she does something beyond multi-tracking her voice) the piano. On "Take me Home," the first song, she is aided by a cello and loosely reminds me of a girl that I once heard open up for Havoline Rail Company - deep soulful vocals hidden away behind a layer of reverb. The beat heavy "I Think I Do" brings out the Dion-esque sound as does "Heavy on my Soul" which also displays some of her soul influence. "Pretty Faces" is sung straight up soul, complete with saxophone and guitar solo. "Mounty Town" Berry's tribute to her home town in Michigan has lyrics that reveal her and her friends playfulness through their younger years but is presented as a sad love song rather than with joy. Same with "Are You Alright?" - happy lyrics, sad sound.

In this style of music it seems that there are those at the top and those trying hard to get there. I have no complaint against this sound. I like it, though not my favorite, but no one who plays or sings, rather - seems to be content staying relatively obscure and owning their songs. It's either the top or not worth it. Perhaps the act of sending her CD to be reviewed by an independent magazine is her way of saying she is willing to play for everyone, not just those teenage girls who know that no one will ever understand them.

Reviewed by JJ Hamon

See other reviews by JJ Hamon



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