One Dozen Berrys opens with the classic Sweet Little Sixteen. As we have seen already, teenagers loved rock ‘n’ roll, and with this opener Chuck Berry’s second album instantly reconnects with this audience. It’s dancey, rocky and catchy. The lyrics tell of an excited teenage girl asking her parents to go see a band. Wearing ‘tight dresses, lipstick and high heel shoes’, dancing to rock and roll is glamourous and fun, but then tomorrow morning she is ‘back in class again’.
The second track, however, shows the album to be much more grown up. Slow and bluesy, the instrumental Blue Feeling creates a mood of sophisticated melancholy. The track is cheekily recycled later on with Low Feeling, but the tape is slowed down to emphasise the atmosphere and wind down the record. The middle of the record lets loose a series of rock ‘n’ roll songs you can’t help but dance along to – Oh Baby Doll, Guitar Boogie, Reelin’ and Rockin’, Rock & Roll Music.
Overall the record has a nice balance between the dancey, rock ‘n’ roll tunes and the slower blues tracks. Throughout them all, the piano skates around to great effect. On the slower tracks, the guitar gently weeps, to coin a phrase, but during the rock ‘n’ roll songs it provides a danceable rhythm.