Chris Berardo

Ignoring All the Warning Signs...

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Chris Berardo and his friends concoct a catchy, retro sound on Ignoring All the Warning Signs, harking back to the jingly pop/rock of the '80s. At the beginning of 2007, however, Ignoring All the Warning Signs is close enough to roots to file under "No Depression." This is probably too bad, in that the album is much more upbeat and tuneful than the angst that pervades alternative country. Both "The One" and "So Good, So Far" are driven forth by a small, guitar-based band and augmented by harmonica, fiddle, and, on occasion, banjo, mandolin, and steel guitar. Most of these songs have been written by Berardo who also handles lead vocals. His gruff, soulful style brings the right feeling to these songs, and, along with the rough-around-the-edges harmony on the choruses, keeps them from sounding too pretty. It would probably have been better to intersperse these early, medium tempo songs (the first five) with a ballad or two, and a number of album's songs -- exceeding four minutes -- are probably too long. But Ignoring All the Warning Signs opens up a bit and diversifies at mid-point, and there's a fun version of Jeff Tweedy's "Passenger Side." For no depression fans sick and tired of being depressed by scruffy, college educated singers, Chris Berardo & the DesBerados will be welcome therapy.

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