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Available in the UK at last!
on 20 September 2012
It seems like I've waited forever for this album to be available in the UK. In fact, I even spent 25 days in the USA looking for it with no avail. However, at last it is here, and it's been my constant companion in the car, making my journey to work bearable each day!
Casey Abrams is the guy who I would say is responsible for making American Idol credible. So often these "talent contests" are full of divas and wannabes, but Casey was like a breath of fresh air. He seemed to influence the judges choices, and on the whole, the rest of the final 13 of season 12 were a pretty remarkable bunch! He is a real musician, playing several instruments, and doesn't look like your typical pop star with his wild beard and his mop of hair, along with his trademark plaid shorts.
After hearing his performances and his song choices on American Idol, this album was somewhat of a surprise, as most of the tracks just don't seem to fit with the "jazz" feel attributed to Casey on the show. Nevertheless, this is an interesting first album, and it seems to be constantly on repeat as I drive to work each day. It has a variety of feel-good tunes - catchy and pop-y, and a few where you can hear the "real" Casey, (but more growls would be appreciated!).
The opening track, Simple Life, was the first single from the album. It's a pretty ditty, encouraging us all to put down our laptops and iphones and opt to experience the world properly. It's a grower, and suits Casey's voice. Ghosts, the next track, is the real highlight of the album. Philip Philip's "Home" is reminiscent of this track....don't know why???? Casey's music is really uplifting, and the song builds to a sing-a-long crescendo! Get Out was Casey's next single, more upbeat and Jason Mraz-ish. Perhaps we can hear more the Casey we know in Blame It On Me with its jazzy influence. The clever lyrics of Wore Out My Soul disguise this song dedicated to a pair of shoes as a love song; what next - an ode to his plaid shorts....I'd love to hear that one! The reggae style Stuck In London makes me sad, as it makes me think Casey didn't enjoy his time in the UK If you like your music acoustic, Midnight Girl will be one of your favourites - just Casey's soft(er) vocals and a guitar. I just love the precision of the lyrics in A Boy Can Dream, "I met her on the day of New Year's Eve..." (which is, incidentally, the day I got married!) - a lovely, gentle song, quickly followed up by the wonderful Dry Spell, which certainly wakes you up; jazzy piano and bass, a couple of grunts and growls, and some amazing vocal gymnastics. The album finishes with Casey accompanied by Haley Reinhart singing a very smooth Hit The Road Jack". I would love to have heard their version of Moanin' - these two artists were meant to duet!
In conclusion, an interesting first album, not what I expected from Casey, but definitely recommended listening. I shall watch his career with interest, as I do wonder how much he had to compromise himself in the making of this album and yet remain a credible artist.