Casey Abram’s Self Titled Debut Album Casey Abrams… Before I get into my review of Casey Abram’s self titled debut album “Casey Abrams”, I feel compelled to first lay some foundation.
I am guilty (along with millions of others) of having spent quite a bit of time watching American Idol. I could try to cop out and blame my family for watching the show while I was just in the room, but, in all fairness, I have enjoyed some of the performances.
I have had quite a few discussions with fellow musicians about the “value” of this kind of “reality” show and I will continue to contend that occasionally an amazingly talented individual will rise to the surface in the whole process. Ironically, these individuals usually don’t win the contest, but through their exposure get the attention of producers. In turn, they go on to get recording deals and progress their musical career. Such is the case of bassist, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Casey Abrams.
Casey is the only one contestant I can recall that has got on stage with a bass and delivered some kick-ass performances. Bassist and producer Randy Jackson sure took notice and is the driving force behind this CD as executive producer
Overall, the CD has a fair amount of Casey on bass, but it also displays his ability to play other instruments proficiently. His vocals are as solid as ever but the song selections seemed to target a much younger demographic. Most of the tracks are Casey’s own compositions collaborating with various musicians and songwriters.
Lets have a closer look at some of the tracks:
“Simple Life” starts up the set with Casey on double bass and notably in his comfort zone. The bass opening blending into a “Bobby McFerrin like” vocal attack starts us out on the right foot. Casey keeps it simple indeed as the bass and vocals add instruments as the song progresses. Very pleasant vocal patterns and even some scatting almost make you miss the fact that the tune is a little repetitive. Here is an even simpler version:
“Ghosts” is an interesting example of what only two guys can sound like working the different tracks; Casey plays acoustic guitar (which you hear the most of), electric bass, cello and vocals. Rune Westburg plays “all instruments”. The feel of this tune is a kind of light country/folk music but more polished.
“Get Out” opens with a mandolin (Rune is playing) and progresses into a song that I could see some “boy band” making; Casey does all the vocals on this track.
“Blame it On Me” gets Casey back on double bass and works an interesting tempo (kind of rockish/bayou style) with his vocals; this cut is very danceable and up beat.
“Stuck in London” has Casey playing a very simple recorder line as well as playing bass and singing. The tune sounds like this song is, as so many are, inspired by real events (you know, boy missing girl far away). The music has a cool syncopated tempo and an almost ‘Island’ feel (maybe it is the mango reference) even though it is about London. The progression of the piece is nice and I like the changes.
So you get the general idea about this first release from Casey Abrams… There are some nice musical elements mixed in with what might be commercially viable. From the videos, I can see that Casey is committed (I don’t mean because he is more shaggy) and working hard, paying his dues. I do believe there is a lot of potential in his music (he is still only 21) and look forward to hearing more from him as he evolves musically.
As always, I am exceptionally happy to see a bassist in the spotlight.
Check out Casey’s website iamcaseyabrams.com