Music Reviews

The Shelley Winters Project

I Hate Everything But You


20 years after he first made his mark on the music scene, Rick Berlin releases what may be his most fulfilled album to date. Having honed his craftsmanship in a variety of bands – most notably Orchestra Luna, Berlin Airlift, and Rick Berlin: The Movie – Berlin has finally found the perfect format for his visions in The Shelley Winters Project, as well as his perfect musical partners.

Widescreen Americana with a penchant for everything from Irish folk rock to Music Hall, from power pop to sentimental ballads, Berlin’s world is a highly unique one, yet one where everything refers to something else. And while it seems unlikely that all of this should fit together, the final result is perfect evidence that it does. And so we get the ragtime pop of “Xmas Face” snuggling comfortably next to the stadium blues funk of “Nice Butt.” And the lovely Randy Newman-like “Don’t Know What I’d Do” leads directly into the hilarious epic power-prog of “Hamlet,” where Berlin comes across as some indie-rocking Meat Loaf. Excellent and moving, Berlin and his cohorts seem to run through every human emotion to come up with something almost too lovely for words, something that takes in everything but still remain characteristic and individual.

Beautifully conceived and carefully executed, this is Berlin’s crowning achievement, and mathematics says the next one should be even better. How about that?

Windjam Records:

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