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Addicted To Company, Pt. 1
With Addicted To Company, Casey brings us a truly beautiful, richly-layered, emotionally moving record.
Adrienne Murphy, 12 Sep 2007
Fifteen years since he started busking on the streets of Dublin, here’s Crumlin-born Paddy Casey releasing his third album to an eager audience. His 2003 LP Living was an avalanche in sales terms, and a hard act to follow. So where’s Paddy gone with his next all-important record?
To LA, that’s where, to work with producer George Drakoulias, co-founder of the Def Jam label (Tom Petty and Primal Scream are the kind of horses you find in this guy’s stable). And does the expensive expertise pay off? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. With Addicted To Company, Casey brings us a truly beautiful, richly-layered, emotionally moving record, whose classic timelessness and grace has the potential to bless listeners again and again. Because what’s at the heart of the big production sound – Paddy’s own songwriting and voice – is still as honest, integral and unique as it always has been.
The first track, ‘Sound Barrier’, with its repeated refrain of ‘Are You Listening?’ is a powerful call to arms. As always with Casey, the vision isn’t all happy-clappy – for in many of the little vignettes of loneliness and human need that make up his songs, the narrator injects just the right amount of irony and paradox and mockery to keep it from becoming too cosy.
This punning game that Casey likes to play – painting a pretty picture that on closer look ain’t so sweet – is at its finest with ‘Become Apart’, whose classically slow, kissy-kissy, lovey-dovey opening turns into a painful acknowledgement of incurable fracture, as the music transmutes quickly and darkly into an ominous march. How often we come apart just when we thought we’d become a part….
But he’s a sensitive soul is Paddy Casey, and while his songs offer a sad, real look at the lonely, isolated aspect of the human condition, there’s hope and comfort and spiritual succour by the bucketful here too, particularly with amazing tracks like ‘You’ll Get By’, ‘Tonight’, ‘I Keep’ and ‘U and I’. And there’s also an awareness, beautiful in the vulnerability of its expression, that we are together in our separateness; or as the poet W.H. Auden expressed so well: “We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”