When it comes to an indie project, one rarely knows what to expect. Unless an unsigned band is able to rely on a professional producer for their album, the result could mean an under-polished effort or an album that lacks in overall quality. Fortunately, such a factor does not pose a problem with Florida-based alternative rock band Berman. Their album Life in the Stars combines plenty of solid, rhythmatic guitars, pulsating beats, and plenty of amazing lyrics that will have an individual singing along in no time.
Songs like the opener "Lost Angeles" includes similar elements to Breaking Benjamin and has stirring words such as "See for yourself and take a look up close, take a trip down to the southern coast. The roads to roam and the powers that be, all point to the angel by the sea." A couple of surprises take place as "Goodbye, Gravity" and "Who Am I" begin with mellow vibes that lead into blistering and beautiful modern rock melodies. However, one of the album's best tracks is the thought-provoking "Fall Off the Earth," which is about a young man who speaks to a blinded world that would rather choose to lead themselves towards destruction than listen to the words of the wise. Though variety is seldom found on Life in the Stars, the title track and the mind-blowing "Stay With Me" feature electronic keyboard samples that accompany angst-driven guitars. The latter song speaks a message of seeking grace through the Father before one's life begins to drift away.
Bringing forth a near-stellar effort from start to finish, along with incredible production, Berman has the drive and potential to go places with their music and message in the years to come. Even though it's not entirely an original effort, Life in the Stars is an album that should not be overlooked by major labels like EMI CMG and Epic Records. Bands like Berman are what keep the indie underground fresh and unique.- Review date: 1/23/06, written by Paul Portell
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