“Selfishness: Source Of War & Violence” is the second release from Canadian musician Robert Beriau. His first recording was the 2005 instrumental “Falling Back To Where I Belong”. Beriau describes his latest concept album as a forum to decry the abyss that exists between rich and poor countries, and how every personal gesture is so important. And Beriau not only talks a good game but literally puts his money where his mouth is by donating $2.00 from every CD sale to charities that prevent violence against women and homeless shelters.
Fans of Van Der Graaf Generator should really find this to their liking. As a matter of fact the tunes “Rats Leave The Sinking Ship” and “Time Fracture” could well be lost recordings from the “Pawn Hearts” session. His vocals are spot on. I had to double-check the guest artists on the CD to make sure Peter Hammill wasn’t among them.
Beriau is an accomplished musician performing the bulk of the instrumental duties on piano, synthesizer, acoustic & electric guitar, bass, flute, and percussion; with additional contributions from Catherine Denis Gagnon (backing vocals), Elad Fish (drums) and Lee Levin (drums).
The compositions incorporate elements of vintage 70s’ progressive rock, jazz, classical, and avant-garde – with a nod not only to the styling of previously mentioned Van Der Graaf Generator but also the solo albums of Roger Waters and mid-period Pink Floyd.
Excellent writing, skilled execution, thoughtful lyrics, and haunting vocals give this a solid 8 out of 10 rating. Recommended.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on February 3rd, 2009