The Critics Corner | Albums

Believe Indie singer-songwriter crafts solid first foot forward on debut album
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Alan HopAlbum name: Take The Good
Label: Self-released
Release Date: October 16, 2015
Rating: -- 4.5 out of 5

Review written by: Richard Ahlgrim
Casey Buckley, an upcoming musician from South Orange, New Jersey, spent the past five years of work to create his debut album “Take The Good” which was released on Oct. 16th.  Casey’s music is very similar to that of Ed Sheeran and Jack Johnson, due to its deep lyrics and acoustic, feel-good style.  Casey began playing music on the piano at a very young age and learned many new instruments throughout his life.  He currently plays multiple instruments in his songs including piano, guitar, harmonica, and many more.  Casey’s variety in instruments makes his songs have a unique and diverse sound.

Each of Casey’s songs has deep meaning in their lyrics that can be interpreted in many ways.  These vague, but meaningful lyrics allows each listener to connect the message of the song into their own personal lives, allowing Casey’s songs to become more personal and touching.

On “Take The Good”, Casey’s talent on the piano can be heard the best in the song "3000 Miles."  This song showcases not only his piano skills, but also Casey’s ability to harmonize his voice with the piano melody.  The slow tempo of this song sets the mood for the deep, meaningful lyrics that accompany it.  "3000 Miles" describes the hardships of long distance relationships, but has an uplifting tone because the distance won't last forever.  Another song that highlights Casey’s piano skills is "Moment of Silence."  This song is more upbeat than "3000 Miles" but continues the theme of deep songs about love and life advice.  This song is about how life can get clustered and stressful, and a moment of rest might seem like a waste of time, but it can be a good release.

Casey’s piano talent is matched only by his skills on the guitar.  He uses finger picking throughout most of his songs which fits perfectly with the soft, smooth tone of each song.  One song with finger picking that stands out above the rest is "Gravity Defying Tears."  This song uses finger picking to create a rich, full sound making the lyrics more prominent.   This song is about a girl who loves a boy that isn't good for her.  Casey speaks to the girl and tell her not to let him bring her down.  Casey’s guitar sounds match effortlessly with another instrument he plays, the harmonica.  In "Second Guessing," Casey’s use of the harmonica adds a western feel to his music.  In this song Casey gives advice to the listener; he suggests that standing up for something you believe in, and showing emotion, makes you a stronger and more full being. Casey even says that seconding guessing your god, is alright as long as you are confident in what you believe in.

Some other songs included in “Take The Good” are "Emily" and "Lover Who May." "Emily," one of the slower songs on the album, reveals the story of Emily, a blue eyed girl that Casey had feelings for, but never got to get to know her.  The story of this song connects with "Lover Who May," in which Casey sings a warning to future lovers that he is moving fast and it would be a shame if they missed their chance with him.  Casey missed his chance with "Emily" and he doesn’t want other people to have the same regrets and miss their chance with a future lover.  Love is the overarching theme of “Take The Good” which is the cornerstone to the feel good mood of the album.

I rate this album a 4.5 out of 5 because the vocals and instrumentals sound great and fit perfectly together, but all of the songs sound very similar.  Casey has a unique sound compared to other artists, but he doesn’t have a lot of variety within his album.  As a solo artist, Casey plays every part of the song himself and he is able to create a full sound that most musicians need an entire band to create.  Casey has an outstanding voice with a wide range that can be heard in all of his songs and makes him stand out amongst other upcoming artists.  Overall, Casey Buckley is well worth a listen.  He is an amazing musician with a lot of talent and potential.

If after listening to this album you haven't had your fill of Casey, he posted a seven part video series of the song "Rains of Castamere," where Casey plays each part of a different instrument.  These videos show the range of Casey’s voice with slower, more diverse music.  His ability to play all seven instruments is impressive enough, but his vocals on top of that make these videos, by far, worth your time.
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