The Shelley Winters Project – I Hate Everything but You

The Shelley Winters Project
I Hate Everything but You

The Shelley Winters Project is another venture for Boston scenester Rick Berlin in his long career. Berlin has become a mainstay in the scene around Boston, holding down spots at various night clubs. Berlin has had many musical projects like Berlin Air, Luna Orchestra, and solo work as well. Berlin has made a career of performing involved Cabaret-esque music throughout his career while leaving his own mark. This new band show that they are proficient as well at tackling what Berlin will have them do.
“Bad Day” is the first true song on the disc since it follows a short introduction track. It involves some very graceful guitar work and violin that add a whole different dimension to the song. It has a very orchestral approach with soaring guitars and new musical invention spread throughout. “Xmas Face” sounds like a mix of David Bowie and David Byrne with a higher cabaret quotient. Berlin’s keyboards and additional horns play a key part in this song which is a fun listen. “Tired” seems to carry a folk like feel to it with it’s spare arrengements and semi narrative tone. “Hate” is a very striking tune with it’s rapid fire instrumentation and Berlin’s rumination of “I hate everything / I think I might kill / I hate everything but you.”
“Monk” starts the second half of the disc with a little bouncy orchestral touch to the music. Berlin’s vocals bounce back and forth between speakers while the keyboarb and guitar play atmosphericaly. “Taxi Take Me Home” is a somber little piece that appears to be a conquest shot down before something can happen. The piece has lilting piano and saddened vocal stylings making it stand out. “Before It Rains” is a very sentimental jazz lounge song which is accompanied only by piano and trumpet. It closes the disc on an apologetic classy note.
Berlin again proves himself as something like a musical chameleon, and he has done a very good job in getting musicians that can help him make it all work. This disc sort of plays out like listening to a play without being able to see the actors, but it works nicely like a storybook. Berlin and company switch from more glammy moments to some sparse folk or country tinged sounds, then into a carefully orchestrated piece. Berlin has done a good job in a disc that has some lulls but overall is very enjoyable. This disc should be listened to as a whole, since it feels like one big continuous well done musical story.