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Music Review - `Superman` by Jay Ryan Beretti (jh)

Jay Ryan Beretti -  Superman (click on image to watch video)

06 February 2020 


Jay Ryan Beretti was born and raised in France and Superman was recorded in Lyon with the backing on the French band. He has appeared often in the states and this album, like Runaway Heart from 2003 is released for the American market, aiming for Americana radio airplay. Beretti’s sound, his vocals being his strong suit, is that of a crooner, not the rough-edged singer-songwriter types that tend to grace those airwaves. Beretti has a long history of patterning himself after Elvis which we’ll explain in greater detail shortly.  Other reference points include Roy Orbison, and, of more recent vintage, John Paul White, especially White’s last solo album.

Beretti made Elvis his idol at the age of five. When he was 22 years old, he won the European "Elvis Presley contest" on the French Riviera in France and opened the show for D.J. Fontana, Elvis's legendary drummer. He was selected by Graceland to represent France at Memphis during the tribute paid to Elvis Presley 20 years after his death. At this time, he appeared on the French National television.  In 2008 he played another major Elvis event in France in front of three thousand people. He also toured the US opening for Big Al Downing and impressing with his powerful voice, swagger and stage antics.


Don’t get the wrong picture, however. He’s not one of those impersonators you see at carnivals, airports, of Las Vegas. Beretti has serious vocal chops and he writes much of his own material. His musical tastes run much wider than just vintage Elvis too. Here he covers The Cure’s “Love Song” and David Guetta’s “Lovers On The Sun,” the latter perhaps the best example of his booming, made-for-the-big-stage crooner vocals. On his own material, he moves quickly from the exhilaration of the title track into the melancholy “I’m Down” and stays in that mode for “My Life” and “Without My Baby,” the latter akin to Elvis-like balladry with one of Beretti’s more noticeable guitar solos.

There are a couple of unexpected turns along the way, including “Bensonhurst Blues,” ostensibly a blues song, but not sounding much like American blues. “Hear My Call” is a very desperate plea but somehow it just doesn’t resonate like some of the others. On the other hand, he does Roy Orbison proud on the closing “Life Fades Away,” a tune Glen Danzig wrote for Orbison.

The reference points alluded to above, be they Elvis, Orbison, or John Paul White are just that – you may hear echoes of each but Beretti has managed to forge a singular style by absorbing various influences rather than simply being a knock-off cover artist. Being mostly a crooner and balladeer the songs deal with romance, often the worst side of it; and a desperate kind of yearning, just shy of sinking into the pathos. In many places, he comes off rather extreme, certainly vulnerable, but his voice redeems it all. (as if Superman just swooped it all away). Beretti’s voice is a wonderful instrument.



Jim Hynes



Jim Hynes is an independent contributor on music for several magazines, including Elmore and Country Standard Time. He has also written for Variety. He was a listener-supported public station(s) radio host for 25 years in CT, MI, NJ and PA. He is also a Live music host/Emcee at several national and regional venues.

To Read All of Jim's Reviews, Click Here




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