Arion Berger, The Washington Post
"[Dan Bern] strums drop-dead gorgeous melodies like a demon with his tail on fire; and expresses his love for humankind through scabrous, literary, skeptical rhymes full of hyperarticulation and the tormented self-knowledge of the really, really smart. With the new album, "New American Language," Bern's caustic side is less jokey and obfuscating, his sentimentality hearty and plain, and they're inextricable."
Derk Richardson, The San Francisco Chronicle
"Still, in a way, despite their universality, the songs of Dylan, Ochs and Lennon belong to another era. Perhaps the closest we have to a Dylan and an Ochs for our time [is] singer-songwriters Dan Bern. His new CD opens with an especially timely question we might all do well to ask ourselves, ... "Tell me where has the sweetness gone, / Where is the loving song, / Where oh where in the world." . "Sweetness" is ostensibly about a love gone sour. Bern's simple inquiry reminds us that sometimes asking the right question is more uplifting -- and ultimately more helpful -- than seizing on the easy answer."
Laura Bond, Westword
"New American Language may be the album that helps Bern leap the scary gap from the underground to some modicum of mainstream recognition."
"Bern, the offspring of Eastern European immigrants who settled in Iowa, makes the kind of American music that radio could use... He's a folky troubadour with a rock-and-roll heart and the all-too-rare skill of combining humor and intelligence. Sometimes he rocks with a Tom Petty-like heartland rumble, at others he delivers his lyrical musings with quiet acoustic backing."
Geoff Gehman, Morning Call
"Let's just say that "New American Language" is a brilliant safari with magnetic grooves, hypnotic lyrics and electric stories. Bern deftly balances sarcasm and pain, spinning a deeply moving meditation that could aid a nation mourning unparalleled terrorism."
Jeffrey Barg, Philadelphia Weekly
"[On New American Language] the band never overproduce or overdo it, and know exactly the amount of tension required to hold onto Bern's free-flowing lyrics while preserving his stylish troubadour persona. The raw emotions were always there, but now they're able to stand alone, unadorned and as they say, balls out."
Wes Orshoski, Billboard
Industry Rediscovers It's Troubadour Roots
[Click Here To Read Entire Review]
Jon Pareles, New York Times
"[Dan Bern] veers from comedy to anger, conjectures to shaggy-dog stories; he takes sidelong approaches to theology, science fiction, consumer culture, art, love and baseball. His lyrics bounce from image to image, seemingly at random, then suddenly pull together all the stray thoughts. Onstage, he is a wily savant, quizzical and wide-eyed but not naive."
Eric Weisbard, Village Voice
"[Bern is] folk's most accomplished new wordsmith."
Ann Powers, New York Times
"Folk music has been tamed since the 1960's, when it was a tool for protest. Most singer-songwriters now favor friendly meditations. Not Mr. Bern. He dresses like a hard-core rocker, his persona connecting his hero, Lenny Bruce, to younger troublemakers like the muscle-bound punk satirist Henry Rollins. Ransacking history and the present for subjects to attack, Mr. Bern wrestles with the domesticated folk tradition."
Dave Marsh, Playboy
"I can't think of two young writer performers I admire more than Alejandro Escovedo and Dan Bern. Bern seems like a complete jokester. His second album Fifty Eggs, opens with "Tiger Woods." The lyrics
to that song declare, "I've got balls, big balls," which is funny Ñ especially when you realize his producer
is Ani DiFranco...Bern, on "Oh Sister," can't stop himself from mentioning his sister's tits.
Still it's a heartfelt tribute to sibling fidelity."
j. poet, San Francisco Chronicle
"In the past two years, Dan Bern has generated a considerable buzz in both the folk community and the music biz at large. With his pumped-up physique, baggy flannel shirt, floppy shorts and outsize acoustic guitar, he looks like an unnaturally healthy Gen-X street-corner busker, but his tuneful free-form rants, which cover subjects like Kurt Cobain's suicide, alien abduction and the everyday trials of true love, mark him as an original."
Jeff Wagenheim, Boston Globe
"Four words. That's all it takes for Dan Bern to separate the tender ears from the deep listeners, as he launches into opening song "Tiger Woods" with an anatomical reference to this bravado that's as likely to alienate as to captivate. But pay close attention to this audaciously imaginative singer-songwriter and you'll notice that his blasphemy and explicit sexual imagery are not gratuitous but rather integral ingredients of the stream-of-consciousness flow. So don't cover your ears; instead, hold on to your hats for a wild ride that ventures even deeper into the artist's psyche than his dazzling 1997 debut."
Barb Stewart, Uptown
"American folk singer/songwriter Dan Bern has a knack for writing songs that manage to explore the complexities and frustrations of life and love in the "Modern" world in a way that can leave you breathless; not only from laughter, but also from shock at his sheer audacity and willingness to be completely honest and without artifice."
Keith Harris, City Pages
"Bern is not only the funniest man who currently wields an acoustic guitar. On top of that, he has more absurd yarns and elongated Dylanesque reveries than he has time to record, and his social observations rarely ring false or seem received."