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On disc: Robert Berry

The Dividing Line - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

The Dividing Line

The Dividing Line
(Frontiers - 2008)

Rock fans will know Robert Berry through his work with Hush, 3, GTR, Ambrosia and Alliance, but between the work with this bands he released some solo albums. Now his 4th solo album The Dividing Line is in the stores. The singer and multi-instrumentalist kicks off with the title track, a melodic rocker with a catchy hook and a symphonic touch. An ear catcher! The following One Good Man is heavier then the opener, but also very melodic - this time with a slightly melancholy touch. And soon it becomes crystal clear that the vocals make the difference, coz Berry's emotional vocals can touch you - something I often miss... As well as the warmth analog recordings had, but not this time. Lyrically he deals with life and love - with emotions. After the fast Listen To The People he slows down for Faith, a balladesque tune which gives you goosebumps. Enchanting. A heavy rocker is This Life which combines heavy riffs and a great keyboard melody. It somehow make me think of ShadowKing... Another heavy tune is A Life Worth Livin', but this time more guitar-based with a catchy hook. And soon you will start singing along... The 'singing' guitar makes it differ from This Life, both songs are great - just different. With keyboards he starts into Can't Let Go. And even if some crunchy riffs are added, the slightly bombastic keyboard dominates. At I Gave You The Best Of Me the keyboards add an 80's touch, the song partly carries a sad note, but the keyboard seems to bring back hope... Another slow one is Young Hearts. First the song is based on piano and vocals, but then becomes a melodic rocker. With Wait you get a powerful balladesque tune which shows again that Robert Berry always finds the right balance between heaviness and melodies. As a bonus you get a video clip for this one. Last, but not least the bass-driven Life Is On Fire - here some progressive rock elements are added - and show a different facet of Robert Berry. A good choice as a closer, coz this one will make you spin the CD again.
Only a few months ago there was a new Alliance album, now Robert Berry presents a solo album, so you might expect that he can't keep the level... But that's not the case! In my opinion The Dividing Line is even better then The Road To Heaven. Okay, it's a matter of taste or preferences, but The Dividing Line rocks and hooks you up immediately. A must-buy for every hard / melodic rock fan! Want to check it out first? Well, it doesn't matter which songs you check out, they will convince you!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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