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Sweeten The Distance CD


Price: £10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Nov. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Fargo
  • ASIN: B005H6SEUK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,478 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sweeten the Distance
2. Bird With No Name
3. Need Shelter
4. Let It All Begin
5. White Fence Round House
6. So Many Enemies
7. Feathers for Bakersfield
8. Time and Trouble
9. How Quiet It Got
10. The Gyrls of Wynter
11. Angel and You're Mine

Product Description

Casal was the lead guitarist of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, with whom he recorded three albums. Sweeten the distance is Casal's tenth solo record and was recorded with noted producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Pernice Brothers, Gary Louris). While listeners will recognize Casal's strong yet understated vocals, his acoustic-driven melodies have been amplified by complex sonic layers, resulting in a new, expansive sound that is the culmination of this prolific songwriter's multifaceted catalog.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glenn on 18 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD
'Sweeten The Distance' is an apt descriptor for the process of listening to this album, not that I mean it's an aural procedure - just that whatever time you spend absorbing these 11 alt-country tracks will be honeyed by Casal's gentle vocal and pleasing compositions. It's not a tart selection: time playing with the Cardinals has clearly influenced these Adamsesque songs with their plaintive narratives and sweet harmony choruses; the pedal steel providing background Americana roots. The opening three songs - title track, 'Bird With No Name', 'Need Shelter' - are the soft and smooth starter.

Fourth 'Let It All Begin' introduces a more up-tempo, trudging beat, but the next 'White Fence Round House' slows the pace again; however, this is a lovely ballad washed by harmony and Casal's light, sweet vocal. This is a stand-out song and my favourite. Sixth 'So Many Enemies' slowly punches again, but then seventh 'Feathers for Bakersfield' returns to a strings launched and then Country tinged ballad - the strings and pedal steel sweeping in and out in an unusual push'n'shove for attention.

Eighth 'Time & Trouble' is darker lyrically and foregrounds Casal's guitar playing a little, but it isn't until ninth 'How Quiet It Got' that there's a mini excitement of sound in the middle and this could and should have been sustained then raised by a wilder playing of the guitar at its end. The final two songs play out in more sweetly soft harmony and pedal steel, but there is a danger of anonymity in this plateauing. By the end I think some listeners will find it sickly-sweet. This isn't my judgement - having the tooth for this kind of pleasantness - but there were times when I would have liked Casal to inject some of that lively soul funk he put into the recipe with his work in Hazy Malaze.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Willis on 19 Dec. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What i've always liked about Neal Casal is that when you get his new albums, you know that it will not be led by, musically speaking, trends and the latest fashions. 'Sweeten The Distance' is no exception, where he's in his finest alt-country mode. I was a bit critical of his previous album 'Roots & Wings', itself a fair record, for being too pleasant. He's back to his best on 'Sweeten The Distance', which has an edge about it and more variety. It's a fairly mid-paced collection of folk/country songs,but well broken up by a few electric guitar led numbers. There really isn't a weak moment, and my own favourites at this time are the title track 'Sweeten The Distance', 'Bird With No Name', 'Let It All Begin' and 'So Many Enemies'. In a parallel universe Neal Casal would be an absolute superstar, but as we're not, i can only hope that people will discover for themselves just how good he is. 'Sweeten The Distance' only re-affirms what i've long known and would also be a great album for anyone just getting into Neal Casal.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Neal Casal, guitarist from Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, really shows how strong his own songwriting is with this solo album. From the title track on, every one's a winner. One of his best although his other albums are also well worth checking out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Adult pop, folk and psych-folk 17 April 2012
By Robert Carraher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After joining Ryan Adams and the Cardinals in 2005, the alt-country rockers had their biggest success, commercially, with the album, Easy Tiger which reached #7 on the Billboard Charts and he was with the Cardinals when they backed Willie Nelson on the album, Song Bird. Neal Casal was already a road worthy veteran as solo artist long before that. Between 1994 and 2005, Casal had recorded nine critically acclaimed solo albums. Having left the Cardinals in 2010 (after Adams had left and the bands only remaining original member was the drummer) Casal is getting back in the solo saddle with Sweeten The Distance, which hit the streets on April 10.

As `right-at-home' as Casals guitar and piano work felt in the Cardinals, Sweeten The Distance has him feeling like he is glad to be the boss again. The album shows him in full creative flight and not leaving any facet of pop/folk/psych folk/soft rock untouched. His guitar work is as good as ever, but it is his song writing and delivery, vocally, that make the album stand out.

On the title track, the lyric declares this freedom "Nothing's gonna stop you now, everything you want is coming in good time". Here's the song solo, it is treated with full studio accompaniment on the album.

The songs on the album show many influences from vocals that bring to mind Neil Young to songs that channel Bob Dylan, but more than anything it is Casal stepping out into the lime light. The tunes are filled with sophisticated melodies, acoustic guitar textures that are meticulous, and multi-dimensional. he shows his California roots with some fine psych-rock tunes such as "White Fence Round House' and one of my favorites, with its beach atmosphere, "How Quiet It Got".

All in all, Sweeten the Distance is a sonic treat and contains many "radio worthy" songs that should help it grow legs. He's touring both solo and as an important part of the band, Chris Robinson Brotherhood. Click here for dates.

The Dirty Lowdown
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Simply amazing 3 Aug. 2012
By Robert Marchese - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have not stopped listening to this album since I picked it up a few weeks ago. It is absolutely wonderful singer/songwriter stuff. Think of the vulnerability of Jackson Browne's best lyrics with the flavor of Ryan Adams' arrangements: this, to me, is Neal Casal. If you thought Casal was a mere sideman to the aforementioned Adams, and now to the wonderful Chris Robinson, think again. He is a serious player, writer, and band leader in his own right.

The cohesiveness of this album is mesmorizing. It plays almost like a concept record. The songs are tight and warm, the writing is clever and never maudlin, and the playing is top notch and tasteful throughout.

Highlights include the gorgeous title track, "Need Shelter" and "The Gyrls of Wynter." No filler. All substance. A stunning record.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Neal Casal - Sweeten the Distance 18 Nov. 2012
By R. Kesler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sweeten The Distance flowers across my wall, mixing with those tiny bits of dust floating in the air that are never visible `til the sun's long rays are at just the right angle, and my eyes have adopted a sleepy half closed repose. By the time the first notes of "Let It All Begin" filter through the speakers my cat's curled up on my chest and is kneading away, while setting the pace for the rest of the album, and I just know I'm here for the ride, melting into the comfort of the afternoon sun with Neal Casal delivering one of the finest albums of his career.

Sweeten The Distance seems to be delivered by a protagonist laced with regret, delivered in a quiet alternative narrative, and shimmers with delight ... as if regardless of what's happened to this person, everything's worked out just right in the end. Some of the songs are a bit more uptempo than others, never the less, they all hang in the air just out of reach, finding their way straight to your heart, with the only thing better, being someone to curl up with and share this adventure.

Casal's guitar simply glitters with an effortlessness, never getting ahead of his rich tender vocals, vocals delivered with a slight twang that sounds as genuine as the day is long; and therein lies the beauty that's always been the signature of Neal Casal's best work. With this, his tenth album in sixteen years, he's paints each song with unexpected slide guitars that morph into organ arrangements, and relies on a sensitive steady backbeat to hold it all in check.

Review by Jenell Kesler
Any fan of music will appreciate Neal's talent 10 Feb. 2015
By Just A. Consumer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm not a fan of the style of music, but I was introduced to this album & love the title track. Neal is a great singer/songwriter.
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