Review from Sleeping Bag Studios

Abby Berman "In a Different Life"

by Jer@SBS

Original release here

Abby Berman – YouTube Singles – Singles Review

“Abby Berman…Abby…lady-friend…how on earth is this my first experience with your music?

I suppose there’s a chance that this is the case for a few of you out there reading as well…maybe you have yet to hear the name Abby Berman or any of her music…but I am more than confident, you will.  I frequently point out the grey in my beard here all the time…it’s there for a reason – it’s the markings of experience & a whole bunch of time spent immersed in music…and I like to think that at this point, closing in on the final stretch somewhere towards my 2000th written review, that I have a fairly good idea of what’s exceptional…what stands out for all the right reasons.  Abby Berman is the kind of artist with a massive future in front of her…maybe she knows that, maybe she doesn’t yet – I honestly don’t know the answer to that – but as sure as I am that you’ll know her name & music by heart one day soon enough, I’m equally sure that what I hear in her voice is the sound of an artist that could reach the highest potential.

She is…I mean damn…she’s like a complete combination some of the best of the best out there.  I could see comparisons to artists like Adele, Amy Winehouse, Regina Spektor, and even Nancy/Ann Wilson perhaps, just to name a few – Abby resembles them all at times throughout these singles I’m listening to – yet I still feel like I could pick Berman out of a lineup blindfolded, just by the sound of her voice.  She’s got incredible technique & natural talent, remarkable instincts, and a truly beautiful & bold approach to her vocals…I’ve been checking out all kinds of her songs over this week, and I’d be lying to you by omission if I somehow neglected to mention that I’ve been sincerely impressed with everything I’ve heard from her so far.  Abby has that intangible X-factor…that rarest of rare abilities to transform words into sounds and those sounds into emotions…you hear what she’s saying – but you feel it even more.

I’m even a huge fan of what she’s doing visually in the videos from these singles I’m reviewing.  The first track I checked out from Abby…the FIRST experience I had with her music, was a song called ‘In A Different Life’ – and there she is, center frame, staring right back at us all through the screen.  Now…I know what you’re thinking…you’ve seen that…I get it, I get it…but you’ll see something in this video you likely haven’t seen before so closely, if you look.  What stunned me the most, beyond compare, was that even in the heavily animated filter that gives the video for ‘In A Different Life’ its overall look, you can still see EVERY ounce of passion, intensity, and desire to sing right there in the eyes of Abby Berman.  Believe me, you can hear it in her voice too – that goes without question – but you’ll see something really special in those eyes of hers…it’s that old-soul breaking free into a new era of expression.  She puts herself in a beautiful piano-led melody, capitalizing on the chord changes with remarkable shifts of her vocal tones & flow.  Watch & listen to moments like around 1:49…you’ll see that Abby is able to ‘go there’ – she can throw every ounce of herself into her material, and she’s giving you everything she’s got.  That doesn’t always mean BIG notes – it means the perfect ones, with the right energy to suit the meanings of the words and sound of the song…Abby finds countless ways to complement the vibe & atmosphere surrounding her on ‘In A Different Life.’  Combined with the impressive weight of emotions, thoughts, and imagery in her poetic lyricism…how she manages to get across what she wants to express exactly as she’d naturally say it…her connection to the words & music is honestly breathtaking.  Listening to her surge with confidence into the second verse and throughout this entire single, amidst such a tale of emotional turmoil and love from an unwanted distance where you can see what you want but can’t quite reach it…I mean…this is stunning, isn’t it?  Please – someone out there come at me on this one…tell me what you’d change, and like, why?  Because if you’re hearing something out of place here, I don’t even know what to tell ya…it’s your ears you use to listen, correct, yes?  Abby shows more than potential here on “In A Different Life” – this is a world-class star in the making here.

Each experience only strengthened my love of Berman’s music, full-stop.  I’m not gonna necessarily say each song was better than the last – I think the high quality of her material is spectacular straight across the board; I might have my favorite in this set of three, but it’d be by the slightest of margins.  Consistency speaks volumes in my world though – and that’s exactly what these next two songs revealed…that confirmation that, no, I’m not crazy at all – Abby is completely as incredible as I initially thought.  You want further proof?  Try ‘You Said The Same Thing About Me’ and listen to one of the most tragically poignant & accurate tales of what love is/isn’t all about…this is masterful songwriting.  Best way I can put it, is that there’s a lot of people out there that are going to find they can relate to this song in one way or the other…and depending where you fall as a character in that scenario would play a big role in how you hear this song.  For myself personally, ‘You Said The Same Thing About Me’ was like listening to one of my various family scenarios growing up…I ended up with five moms & three dads through the multiple marriages & divorces throughout my childhood – but it was the…ugh…you know, there’s just no other way to say it other than the icky way each scenario played out was all too similar to every other one of them along the way.  So even reading the title ‘You Said The Same Thing About Me’ had my emotions on red-alert…I knew this track could potentially hit really, really close to home with the way that Abby can write with such impressive detail and thought-provoking lyricism…and it did, 100%.  Here’s the thing…I have to assume this is based on real experience…because that’s just how connected Abby always sounds with her material…I believe that has to come from a place inside her; otherwise, if it’s not, if these are fictional experiences that she’s tapped into through observation or research or whatever…I mean…she should get an award for her accuracy.  At the end of the day, what matters is that strength in the connection…and she’s nailing that, every time – everything feels real – and in the case of ‘You Said The Same Thing About Me,’ for some, it’ll be almost too real.  If you’ve ever been left behind by someone you loved, only to watch your former other-half go on to do all the same things you used to love to do with someone new that’s not you – then look out…because this single will hit ya right in the heartstrings.  That being said – she’s turned this into an empowering and inspired experience overall – make no mistake you cheaters out there – Abby’s calling you out on this song.  I can’t say enough about the words – I think she’s created an extraordinarily real song with ‘You Said The Same Thing About Me’ that many will relate to, and I think the fact that Berman sounds so incredibly inspired, bold, and powerful in her performance on this single speaks to the fact that there is NOTHING that can slow her down; that ultimately, she’s been through this situation and she’s stronger now because of it.  Strong enough to have the ultimate last laugh by turning tragedy into art – take that guy!

So…look…obviously I’ve been stoked about what I’ve heard so far…but if for some reason I hadn’t been sold on Abby yet, she’d give me about a hundred more reasons to dig what she does with the brilliant performance & songwriting you’ll find on ‘Me & You.’  The melody is gorgeous & graceful…the lyrics are some of the sweetest you’ll likely ever get the privilege of listening to – like to the point where even Abby realizes just how over-the-top these feelings are in the first verse of the song, going on to explain exactly why that is, and why that can’t be helped.  ‘Me & You’ is a beautiful display of what the feelings of love, admiration, and real respect for someone is all about…and how timing & perception plays into all of that; sometimes things don’t make any sense at all…and yet because of that, they completely do.  “Me & You” speaks to that push/pull many of us have experienced with relationships and navigating the lives we live together with that special someone…but also makes a ton of time to reflect on the multiple amazing moments and memories we’ll experience along the way.  Berman sings this song with extraordinary soul, remarkable melody, and once again, the perfect energy & style to suit every single second you’ll hear.  The piano, strings, and drums surrounding her on ‘Me & You’ create a flawless atmosphere for Abby to thrive in, delivering another noteworthy performance with serious heart, vibrantly passionate vocals, and music that really hits the mark all-around.  Through the structure & pace of “Me & You,” you remain captivated and listening intently, hearing the rise & fall of the energy and emotion involved…the sweet reflection and dreamy intentions…it’s a really wonderful song.

‘Every minute I’m with you…is a minute that I love…’ – those are her words, not mine; but I also can’t think of a better way to describe this first experience in listening to the music of Abby Berman.”

Thank you so much for such a beautiful review. I could not be more grateful Sleeping Bag Studios! You are amazing.

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