Reviews of “Casey James”

Casey James’ eponymous debut CD is an unqualified hit, earning rave reviews from critics and fans alike.  Here are links to the reviews, followed by excerpts from each.

Entertainment Weekly:

On his self-titled debut album, a fusion of blues and contemporary country, his subtle grit and frequent guitar solos make the songs shine.

Great American Country (GAC):

Maybe it’s because Casey was so involved in the creative setup of the project, or maybe it’s that his voice and guitar are just that in sync, but Casey James is a compelling debut with an authentic feel. Even on tracks Casey didn’t write, like the Southern rock-influenced “Workin’ On It,” his vision of soulful tones and universal themes comes across with head-bobbing clarity. On this promising debut, Casey shows himself as a talented young artist that might be on the verge of something big.

Country Weekly:

From his debut single, the sultry come-on “Let’s Don’t Call It a Night,” to the slow rocker “She’s Money,” this artist knows how to capitalize on his smooth voice with a cache of romantic-leaning tunes. He co-wrote all but two tracks on his debut album and he’s mastered the intense electric and acoustic guitar riffs that shine throughout the collection.

USA Today:

James, who finished third on American Idol‘s 2010 season, took nearly two years to make his debut album, but his fans from the show should find it worth the wait. Clearly influenced by Texas blues and classic rock, it bears up under repeated listens — not so much for the songs, which cover familiar ground for contemporary country, but for James’ guitar work, which turns out to be just as good as his brief displays on Idol promised.

Country Music Is Love:

With classic and southern rock undertones, a bluesy influence, and excellent guitar work, Casey has managed to put out a solid debut album that will be very inviting to new listeners. …  His soulful voice and guitar playing are spot on, his song choices are near perfect, and the album as a whole should prove to be a solid foundation for Casey to grow upon in the coming years.

Nashville Country Club:

Overall, this collection of music is a true ‘Bigger’ picture of Casey James as an artist & writer.  The singer shows off his diversity & talent as a guitarist.

Country Music Tattle Tale:

Casey James may have started off on American Idol, but he’s gonna go plenty far all on his own, and his debut album is a great place to start. Out today, the self-titled album showcases all of the influences who shaped Casey into the artist he is.  His vocals have a real bluesy vibe while pumping up the southern rock charm.   In fact, I see a lot of cross-over potential in the album.

Taste of Country:

The soul-country sub-genre is one that no artist has really claimed, but James is clearly comfortable mixing influences. This is an easy album to listen to start to finish, and the singer’s beachy, gravely timber make him easy to identify. James used his time wisely, building a project that should provide the foundation for a nice career.

Roughstock:

Loaded with potential singles, Casey James is the kind of record that shows that American Idol does help talented artists find their way, if they’re given time to grow…. “Miss Your Fire” is a slow-burning ballad about a guy who is lamenting the loss of the one of his life. Vocally, the song is a stunning showcase for Casey’s vocal and while he has a natural ‘timbre’ to his voice, here that’s smoothed out and results are a passionate, melancholic performance that leaves the listener wanting  more than the 11 tracks on the album.

Blinded by Sound:

In all honesty, I didn’t know how country music would sound on Casey James, but he pulls it off beautifully by mixing in some southern rock into his country songs. Casey did something that many of the other Idol contestants weren’t really given the chance to do during the recording of their albums, he played his guitar. Casey can really wail on that thing and does a great job here. … In my opinion, this is probably one of the strongest debut albums of a non-winner from an American Idol contestant. There really isn’t a bad song on it, and it is well worth spending the money on this album.

MJs Big Blog:

Casey’s life experience and road dues are evident in his phrasing and tone, and his attention to guitar tones pays strong dividends in elevating the songs and forming an album that sounds like his and his alone. It turns out that as much attention as Casey has gotten for his hair, his guitar-picking fingers and his gravelly voice, his strongest and most distinctive feature may in fact be his ears.

The Country Site:

This is a terrific debut, showcasing the depth and breadth of James’ musical talent and influences, with a range of songs that move from the briskly upbeat to the searingly painful without a stumble. And, like any good piece of art, it makes you eager to know what’s next.

Keepin’ it Country:

Casey James is an enjoyable blend of upbeat, contemporary country tunes, and love songs that are likely to drive his female fans wild. The more you listen to this album, the more you like it. … The whole album, though, shows the care that was taken crafting his first release over the two years since his third-place finish on American Idol. Fans have much to look forward to from this up-and-comer.

Insite Gainesville:

His mix of blues, rock, country and soul takes fans back to his music roots. …  The album shows the versatile talent of this young artist. Casey may have taken awhile to complete his debut album, but it is well-worth the wait. His ability to go from an upbeat and fast song to a painful and emotional ballad shows what a truly talented musician Casey is and we know we will be hearing from him for a long time to come.

Country Wall of Sound:

James’ new self-titled album shows off not only the vocal prowess that kept him in the competition long enough to finish in a respectable third place, but the nine of 11 songs he penned for the new set show he knows how to write a country song. It’s a good modern country album, and I’m sure it will probably rack up a few hits. Fans of the big “wall of sound” production technique will especially appreciate its all-out-all-the-time approach.

Today’s Country:

Casey James is full of soul and delivers a perfect blend of lyrics and instrumentals, but you believe every word as he discusses how perfect his new love is.  Another great track is “Workin’ On It.”  It kicks off with a bang and continues on with a rocking edge to the very end.  Although this isn’t a standard “Country” album, Casey James gives it his all on his debut record and there is no doubt that he has a great future in country music.

For a Song:

This is one of the most cohesive, yet diverse debut efforts I’ve ever heard. … the amazing variety that Casey displays on this project only whets your appetite to hear what else this soulful singer and mind-boggling picker is capable of.

iTunes:

Certainly, Casey James doesn’t have a note out of place throughout: every element has been vetted and polished, every song targeted at an individual audience. Sometimes, James gets a little gritty but he’s not really a down-home kind of singer: he’s a roots singer whose roots extend about as far as Stevie Ray Vaughan, a roots singer who exudes authenticity through his carefully faded denim, meticulously styled beard, and slight hint of gravel in his singing.

AllMusic.com

[A]s commercial as it is — and make no mistake, this was designed to be a hit wherever it may be accepted — there is the soul of a musician evident beneath the heavy gloss, the sense that James is attempting to reshape his favorite sounds for a wide audience. Perhaps the record would have been stronger, or at least a little more individual, if it was a little less polished, but it’s hard to fault a former American Idol for favoring slick sounds, particularly when he’s found a way to gamely indulge his own passions within this cool, clean setting.

Parcbench.com

Casey James finished American Idol’s 2010 season in third place. It’s clear that he is a charismatic singer with a lot of appeal and a way with a song. … the best music comes from his multiple track guitar-playing. Anyone who watched him on the TV show suspected that he was capable of such fine musicianship, and he doesn’t disappoint. It also suggests that Casey James is one of those artists that put on a great live show.

Examiner.com

Casey James placed third on American Idol in 2010, but the Casey James CD that hit stores March 20, 2012, shows that James’ musical abilities are far more talented than third place. While it may seem it took an awfully long time for this Texas native to release his first album, the results created by taking his time prove he was right to hold out for a stellar country album with a touch of soul infused in each song.

Lovin’ Lyrics Music Promotions:

Casey takes country music and gives it a bluesy, sensual turn yet still maintaining his signature grit and gravel. It’s such a nice change to the same old music that’s been churned out the past year or so. This is the kind of music you can crank up, open the windows and lay on the couch just letting it take you over as a summer breeze blows through the room. I’m willing to bet your neighbors won’t even ask you to turn it down.

LetsSingIt.com

The soul-country sub-genre is one that no artist has really claimed, but James is clearly comfortable mixing influences. This is an easy album to listen to start to finish, and the singer’s beachy, gravely timber make him easy to identify. James used his time wisely, building a project that should provide the foundation for a nice career.

The Telegraph (Cowboys Indians)

He’s got country music media and fans alike in a tizzy with the singles “She’s Money” and the slightly soulful “Let’s Don’t Call It a Night.” But he doesn’t hesitate to explore his bluesy-rocker side a little on the new record. There’s a good chance Casey will pull a Daughtry, outpacing the winner and runner-up from his Idol season.

The Daily Athenaeum

James has a huge crossover appeal, as his songs are a mix of country, Southern rock and even a little alternative rock. … It far exceeds expectation and firmly introduces James as an excellent singer, songwriter and guitarist. The only unfortunate aspect of this being a debut album is that listeners will be left wanting more without any previous albums to which they can listen.

Got Country

The album is full of smart, well written, radio friendly songs, nine of which he co-wrote. … It certainly does not sound like the very first album. Casey’s performances are strong all the way through and indicative of a musician that has been making music for a long time. … Casey James has set himself up for a very strong career in country music.

Rhapsody – Top 10 Country Albums of April

The second runner-up on Season 9 of American Idol, Casey James releases a surprisingly solid debut. He infuses elements of both Southern rock and classic soul into contemporary country, neatly sidestepping the same-old by adding plenty of bluesy guitar riffs throughout.

Music News Nashville

The Cool, Texas native should likely prepare for more career highlights, because he’s got the voice – and the material to be around for that proverbial long-haul. … Other highlights of the disc include the dramatic vocal on “Tough Love,” as well as the sound of “Drive,” which is sure to make his legions of fans who go out to his stage show happy. And, I have a feeling if he keeps it up with music like this, those numbers will be expanding!

Northern Rockies View

It’s a rock-solid record start to finish.  Fresh, authentic, and full of high points, showcasing Casey at his best.  Casey sings of being a “diamond in the mud” and I think it is an apt description.

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13 Responses to Reviews of “Casey James”

  1. DrewJ says:

    Keep all the great reviews coming YAY!

    iTunes ratings is super cool. 5 stars as of late. Not bad 🙂

  2. Pingback: Casey James’ Self-Titled Debut CD In Stores Now | The Casey James Blog

  3. Cynthia says:

    Thank you for seeing the artist the way I saw him from the start! May he be very successful in his endeavours as he truly deserves! Casey James has all what the music industry is thirsty for and we will be quenched by his COoL TeXAs style and gifts!

  4. kathyt1 says:

    THANK YOU for a GREAT post. We LOVE the new album. Great debut by Casey James… Have bought from iTUNES, Wal-Mart and Amazon. Playing it everywhere (car, computer, iPOD)…. WHAT GREAT PRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. lisa says:

    I picked up my copy yesterday and I have to say there is not one song on the cd that is a bad song
    absolutely wonderful CD.can’t say enough good things about it.

  6. Pingback: Casey James Reaches New Chart High, New Song Appears on Request Forms | The Casey James Blog

  7. Roni J says:

    His talent and CD says it all. AWESOME!!!!!! What a great performer so much to offer. There
    is something for everyone.

    Roni

  8. Kim B says:

    I got Casey’s cd the very morning it came out. I met him in Asheville, N.C. and had always been a fan of him from American Idol, and he is a really great person, and reminded me immediatley of Alan Jackson. Casey is very humble, and fans will love that about him. The cd is OUTSTANDING and I can wait to see what comes next.

  9. pamrichva says:

    Seems like waiting for “Casey James” to come out was like knowing a movie is being made of your all-time favorite book. You loved the book and hope the movie is gonna be just as good because you’d love to see those words come to life. To me, the CD did not disappoint like the movies sometimes do, even though a couple of my favorite “chapters” were left out (“BulletProof” in particular, but I get that). I love it.

    I favor the original version of “The Good Life,” but guess it needed to be changed to fit more into the romantic theme of the album. I loved the “smell of charcoal burnin’ on the breeze” line as that’s one of the best parts of summer and I guess I can relate to that better than “painted toes and tangled hair.” “Cryin On a Suitcase” is definitely catchy enough to stick with you as it is often ‘with’ me. Love LDCIAN, more as the single than I did when I heard it live…so the movie beat the book on that one. LOVED “Miss Me” and “So Sweet” from the instant I heard them and don’t think they’ll ever get old. “She’s Money” is also a favorite – wish I could hear even more slide throughout. But, I think the ones that I may be enjoying most right now are ones that I hadn’t heard before, the new chapters and my “Travis Tritt” songs, “Tough Love” and “Workin On It.” I think “Tough Love” may be one of the best single options and would be a great summer song. I know it would do well in my neck of the woods (and it seems to be Cameron’s favorite). These two seem most consistent, if that makes any sense. I guess not being a musician I don’t appreciate the “layers” as much as others might. Some songs I think I might like the simpler live versions of a little better than the produced ones, but not a lot. “Miss Your Fire” reminds me a lot of something Allison Krauss would do. There still isn’t a “skippable” song on the album for me.

    I have never known of another artist who’s had practically every live performance recorded. THANKS AWESOME CASEY CREW for putting the “book” out there for us all to “read” over the last couple of years and EVERYONE who has spent time sharing information and pictures and videos.

    Those of us who have been following Casey since Idol, going to shows, or have met him in person have a real emotional investment in the success of the album and Casey’s career ahead. I think for almost all of us, we are as touched by his positive spirit as we are the music. There is SO much negative in the world today. Seeing someone so happy and at peace and dedicated to bringing others along his way with his AWESOME (and I mean AWE-SOME) music….what better gift could there be to this world. Can I get an “AMEN?”

  10. abbie says:

    just read this from the blog of Jay D. P. Foster and loved it! sharing it with all Casey Fans as well 🙂
    http://northernrockiesview.com/2012/05/24/casey-james-a-diamond-in-the-mud/

  11. Karen morgan says:

    Yummy!

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