On 19th May 2006 at 20:45 paul james berry wrote...
Soulshine - Canada - 2005 "Forget Tom Waits, PJB is a poetic master easily remixed by DJs internationally and taking in the raw contrast of The Streets to the North American populous. Direct and never subtle, his lyrics step up to what true songmanship should be; occasionally tough to accept overall, an honest and well compiled 'brutal' look at heaven. His next release, 'Nations' is set for an October 2004 release with special performances to follow."
Stylusmag - Canada - 2005 "Berry has a keen intellect, a disdain for those buffered from reality, and an internalized anger that fuels the vitriol in every adjective. It is real life undecorated, and smolders like the everyday pressures. "Nations," though not a light album, is never bleak or heavy, and thus an accessible and enjoyable listen. This is fucking brilliant. Clean glass please, and leave the bottle!"
Bubblegum Slut - UK - 2005 The third solo album from cult singer / songwriter Paul James Berry is put quite simply, a bit of an understated masterpiece, rendered in acoustic guitars and several intense shades of cynicism and cold, brutal honesty. Now based in Paris and aided by a French backing band, the national identity of the Yorkshire man's latest is a rather paradoxical mix of the kind of Northern bluntness that tells it like it is and a continental poetic tongue which educates the likes of 'C'est La Vie' and 'The Ballad of Serge Gainsbarre'.
Berry's attempts to force singular nations, worlds and identities to rub together here - the cover shows him dividing by offering a hand-drawn 'S' up to a sign reading 'Nation' - is full of fricticious culture clashes, both universal, and as intensely personal as his hand-scrawled plural on the sleeve. 'C'est La Vie' deals with the trials of coupling, bonding with someone and becoming one half of the plural pair in dramatic style, mixing the promise 'I'll do anything for you' with a bold analogy likening the affair to civil war! One of the record's most interesting tracks 'Mexican Girl And The English Rose', contrasts the two cultural stereotypes to an unexpected soundtrack of traditional flamenco-ish flourishes on the guitar, with meracas providing percussion.
Further clashes come when Berry looks into, and typically straight through, the unfamiliar superficial modeling world on the cynical 'Supermodel'. Finally the exploration of the two-sided soul of another difficult artist and distinctly French figure, in 'The Ballad of Serge Gainsbarre', is the raison de entrée of Berry's razor-edged lyrical wit and truly crystallizes the intense Nick Cave-esque percussive storms and rough throated narrative wisdom that he makes his own over the course of 'Nations'. Mean, moody and quite, quite brilliant.
Desibel Mag - Finland - 2005 There are many indie-rock explorers today, however listening to Ginnel, one notices that Berry has a clear vision of his subject.
.......transfers us to a sleepy scenery like a soulful bonfire his songs are full and flamboyant. Berry gives us a positive feeling, unlike other creations that have come and gone................."
Unicum - Austria - 2005 Intense lyrics with an autobiographical background; Berry's feeling for rough but nevertheless catchy melodies ennoble Nations to one of the most fascinating and complex singer songwriter records in recent years.
Rock Folk- France - 2005"...Pure British singer/songwriter! His third album is pure and authentic craftsmanship...he cuts, sculpts, weaves each and every song to get to its core and wraps it up in musical chemistry in order to get his message across. Unravel and cherish."
Synthetics - Germany -2005 Red wine a small cigarette and you will become one with this album.
DNAsix - Germany -2005 Berry sets the listener's soul vibrating. An exquisite jewel.
Prinz - Germany -2005 "Finely composed guitar-songs, catchy melodies, tremendously sad and beautiful."
Westzeit Germany -2005 "This album is a singer/songwriter record, and you can hear the past of its protagonist without the album being born yesterday. Stories with a past. Highly recommended!"
Rock Folk- France -2005"...Pure British singer/songwriter! His third album is pure and authentic craftsmanship...he cuts, sculpts, weaves each and every song to get to its core and wraps it up in musical chemistry in order to get his message across. Unravel and cherish."
Les Inrockuptibles- France -2005 " ... A voice that often evokes Stuart Staples from the Tindersticks. PJB writes beautiful 'torch songs' basked in strong alcohol, reminding you of the greatest English acoustic heroes... from Mark Bolan to Nikky Sudden..."
ZicaZic - France -2005 "...Neither completely bluesy or entirely pop-folk, PJB simply makes his own music, which is close to his heart without worrying about a particular style. PJB is an alchemist when it comes to melody and breaking down musical conventions! Direct, genuine, his songs are pretty varied, while keeping a good homogeneity thanks to a common denominator, the Artist's endearing voice. Well played!..."