Richard Berger has been involved with music in some capacity for an ample amount of time now. Back in the early ‘90s he was a young man in band the never reached rock stardom and he ended up getting a “real job.” That’s a cold hard fact that 99% of aspiring musicians in their early twenties will not be able to make a living from being solely a musician. Most of us get real jobs but if you truly love music and not the idea of it you will continue making music in some capacity. That’s precisely what Berger is doing. He released a six-song EP entitled Wasting Time, which according to him is a collection of rock songs, some written in the early ‘90s, one written in 2010, but all re-recorded and re-mastered recently (Berger might want to look into getting a different mastering engineer because “Pictures” is noticeably about 3 to 5 dbs louder than “Forever”.).
The six songs on Wasting Time, despite some being written in in the last couple of years, sound like a mix of ‘90s alternative songs as well as ‘80s pop. Berger’s main subject revolves around relationships, loss, time and hope. Overall, he is a solid songwriter who is often creative when it comes to structure. That being said some of the songs lack characteristics that make it stand out. Berger has a smooth yet indistinct delivery in his vocal style. It’s easy to listen to even though he covers it with too many effects most of the time.
Berger opens up with “Thinking About You.” I couldn’t but help think of Richard Marx when hearing this song. Something about the combination of vocal style, clean piano and drum sound. Berger’s lyrics are simplistic and straightforward as he dances around ubiquitous themes of lost love. He sings, “Oh thinking about you makes me smile but living without you makes me cry.” The highpoint was when Berger shreds on the guitar. He lays down a soaring guitar solo that displays some of his technical ability.
“Pictures” was a catchy, infectious tune and is arguably the best vocal performance. Berger sounds good when he delivers the lines “Put away those pictures of me / Can’t look at them any more.” I liked the song but the mix itself was squashed and narrow.
As the EP progresses the last two tracks “In The Rain” and “Wasting Time” were notable amongst the batch. The good things outweigh the bad on Wasting Time but some of the material does feel dated. All things considered it's a respectable effort for someone who isn’t a full time musician.
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