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CD Review: David Berkeley — Strange Light

[ 0 ] May 26, 2009 |

DavidBerkeleyStrangeLight David Berkeley

Strange Light

Straw Man Music

By Samantha Parvin

It’s
a shame that physical compact discs are going out of style, because David Berkeley’s third studio album, Strange Light, is beautifully
packaged.  And luckily for him, the
audible art matches its visual counterpart. David Gray meets Ryan Adams circa Demolition meets Gavin DeGraw’s
country-insinuating accents – and that’s a beautiful combination!

Strange
Light
was recorded at Chicago’s
famous Engine Studios. Berkeley, along with
talented producer Brian Deck (who has worked with Iron & Wine, Josh Ritter and Modest Mouse, among others) and a slew of contributing musicians together
find a pleasant middle ground between whimsical and thought-provoking,
enchanting and sturdy.  His lyrics are
smart, reflecting on his years studying literature and philosophy at Harvard
University and as a professional writer for both Outside Magazine and Let’s
Go Alaska
. Berkeley successfully
displays his philosophical and emotional ideas through tranquil and
well-trained vocals, coupled with contributing artists such as Sara Watkins of
Nickel Creek (vocals),  Todd Sickafoose
on bass (who plays with Ani Difranco, among others), and Lex Price, a seasoned
mandolinist who also has played with Mindy Smith.

“Willis
Avenue Bridge” is the song that you just have to sing along to, but only
if you have as beautiful a voice as Berkeley, because you wouldn’t want to ruin
the song otherwise. “Oh Lord, Come Down”
has the gentility and the innocence of a lullaby, and “Angelina” is enough for
one to fall in love with this man – or at least, the song. Strange Light could be the
quintessential addition to your “bedtime tunes” playlist, although you may find
yourself straining to stay up to catch just a few more notes of excellence.

Please
check out his creatively designed and impeccably executed website at www.davidberkeley.com.  I’m sure web designer Mackenzie Bryan Cauley would appreciate it.  

Category: CD Reviews

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