John Berry – I Give My Heart

Album Review by EDF

Poor John Berry, he never had a chance with a reviewer like me. First of all this album is mostly a covers album, not one of my favourite type of albums. Secondly John Berry sings country, a genre of music that I have never been a fan of and thirdly this is an album full of love songs. Before you think that’s the whole review, read on because this was actually more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. Berry grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where his musical interests were soul and country music. Whether this album is an indication of “country soul” is hard to tell and Berry gives a performance that is mostly convincing.

From the opening cover of Jim Croce’s TIME IN A BOTTLE to John’s own WILL YOU MARRY ME, both tracks come over as above average. When Al Green’s LET’S STAY TOGETHER kicks in, not only can Berry hit the high notes, he does it with feeling. David Gates’ IF is given the cello treatment and is enough to make any grown man weep. Lionel Richie’s LADY is more country than soul and John gives it his all.

Some of the less well-known tracks include the jazz lite Gino Vannelli I JUST WANNA STOP and the title track, which is one of the weaker tracks here. Things pick up with the Berry penned SINCE THE DAY THAT I MET YOU and Boz Scaggs LOVE LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO ME.

This album actually works on a level that I had not considered before with country music. The usual problem I have with country music is the lyrics and luckily this is a covers album. John Berry’s delivery is quite reasonable; this album should at least be given a chance. The songs are mostly harmless and are quite enjoyable if you like this sort of setting. For those with a low threshold for love songs, it is best avoid this.

4 stars

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