Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Dan Bern's obsession with Bob Dylan (and, to an extent, Elvis Costello) is easy to stomach because he takes himself so humorously. "If you must put me in a box, make sure it's a big box, with lots of windows," he sings, be... more »
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Dan Bern's obsession with Bob Dylan (and, to an extent, Elvis Costello) is easy to stomach because he takes himself so humorously. "If you must put me in a box, make sure it's a big box, with lots of windows," he sings, before declaring himself the Messiah, on the talking-blues opener "Jerusalem." He also wonders what would have happened if Marilyn Monroe had married Henry Miller, not Arthur Miller, on the catchy "Marilyn Monroe." The singer/songwriter's debut occasionally drags, especially on long songs like "Wasteland" and "Rome," but this disc hints at a career worth following. --Steve Knopper
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This is good, but he's better live.......
Dave Yoerke | Pittsburgh, PA | 07/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw Dan Bern play at a local coffee house and was blown away. Despite his slightly annoying Dylan-wannabe voice, his lyrics were witty, funny, and insightful. The live show seemed to be very spontaneous, very Springsteen-esque, with stories and all. After the show, I was so enthralled with him that I bought this album then and there. Unfortunatly I was slightly disappointed. There are some artists who simply cannot convey their talent on a studio album, they must be seen live. Dan Bern seems to be one of these artists. Even though they are not AS good, they are still some excellent songs on this album. "Wasteland" is a look at the crumbling world around this middle aged man. He observes his friends who have abandoned their dreams, and a society of people obsessed with being the "in-crowd" and losing their sense of individuality. A very interesting song. Other highlights include "Jerusalem," which many consider to be his finest work, and "Marilyn," a hilarious look at Marilyn Monroe's life if she had married Henry Miller. I would recommend this album to fans of folk-ish rock, but I would recommend to EVERYONE that you see him live! I promise you, he won't disappoint."
Stephanie Dunham | Los Angeles, CA, USA | 06/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"He's funny, he's thoughtful, he's vibrant and pithy and... well, everything I could ever want out of an artist. When I heard the first minute of "Jerusalem," I knew I had to hear more. It was partially a gut reaction to the resonant chords he uses, I think, but then when I heard the words --- yeah. Wow. I love his colorful, expressive voice and ragged acoustic sound, which I think is particularly evident on the second track, "Go To Sleep," which I also love for its punchy rhythm and acute (but somehow amusing) commentary on our (over-)commercialized lives. "There's some tomatoes/ Chemically engineered/ They come out square/ To fit in boxes./ There's some people/ Chemically engineered/ They come out square/ To fit in boxes." Yeah - I think we all know a few "squares" in our lives...The next song, "Wasteland," mourns the loss of one of his relationships, but it also focuses on the loss of our idealistic dreams and the sacrifice of our soul to the gods of practicality and "real life." The Amazon "official" editorial review says that the album "drags" on this track, but I fervently disagree. Yes, it's a long song. But I feel like it's a necessary break between the frenetic pace of "Go To Sleep" and "Marilyn." Besides, it's not exactly a dirge. It hits a universal chord with lines like, "And I watched as the best of my generation/ Abandoned their dreams/ And settled for making a little money." Plus, it's still kinda makes you laugh, or smirk - "But she kept driving / 'Cause everyone else kept driving / And cause gridlock is evil / And not knowin' your way is evil."The rest of the CD is just as good - although I would say that the first half is more catchy than the last, but *all* of it is good. (And so are all of his other albums, if you're curious, although some might find that Ani DiFranco's production aesthetic on "Fifty Eggs" gets a little tiring after several listens. Personally, I think his other albums are more faithful to Dan's "sound" than "Fifty Eggs," and therefore, better, but I still got hooked on to Dan after hearing "Fifty Eggs," so that just tells you how much soul this guy has.) Dan Bern is amazing, and this, his first full-length album, reflects a good chunk of his ability."
Dan Bern is so funny!!!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org | 12/03/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw him live for one of the first times i heard his music (the first time was in the car on the way to to show:) and i knew right away he was awesome! His first song was Tiger Woods, and the last song (by request) was Jerusalem. He had a great set. He has a knack for putting humour into his great lyrics. Lyrics, I might add, that actually mean something. Oh yeah, for those X-Files fans, his song No Missing Link was copied by the series premier of the X-Files...he should get royalties, or something:)"