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Album Review : The Commander In Chief – ‘Berit Vol. 1’

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Berit Hagen, a.k.a. The Commander in Chief’, is one of the most multi-talented artists in the country today. Like all true musicians, she isn’t just happy to stick to one thing but explores other styles and stretches herself constantly, pushing her natural flair of writing and playing into ever new directions.

Probably best known for her fiery fretwork on the gloriously metal album ‘I Am’, she went on to dazzle with the ‘Two Guitars – the Classical Crossover Album’ which saw her stunning shredding prowess matched against classical guitarist Craig Ogden. Now, with ‘Berit – Vol 1’, she has gone down a more laid back, but equally enthralling, solo singer/songwriter path that sees her shining a light on much more intimate and personal fare.

Singing and playing all the guitar and piano pieces herself, this gives a chance for her to really delve deep and the instrumentation to be a vehicle to accompany rather than drive the sound.  

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8p573klabI&w=560&h=315]

It’s all delightfully put together and brings elements of some of the best female artists of the past forty years together in a collection that is at once multi-layered but sparse. There are many highlights as you make your way through the recording, as ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ soars, ‘Who’s Gonna Make Me Happy’ brings a sense of widescreen beauty and ‘Ruins of Grandeur’ is an otherworldly treat.

From the delightfully lyrical ‘Dear Old Music’ and through to ‘Have You Ever Loved Anyone?’ as it cuts to the bone, here is an artist both confident and candid. These eleven tracks are a joy to explore and mark Hagen out to be a very unique and vital talent. This needs to be heard. With ‘Berit Vol. 2’ on its way shortly you need to take time out of the day, slip this into the CD player and be enveloped by its many charms. 


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