By Bill Copeland on January 19, 2013
Casey Desmond’s latest full length release Déjà vu might be the greatest pop album the world hasn’t heard of yet. From the opening title track to the closer, Casey has loaded this work with over the top catchy, infectious, danceable, sexy songs. The Boston native who has had brushes with fame on NBC’s The Voice has got to get this stuff into the hands of someone who can make things happen. The mix of beautiful voice, irresistible grooves and beats, and a galaxy of sound tweaks push this album into a genre of its own
A breezy synth melody leads the way into title track “Déjà vu” and its danceable beat soon has the feet moving to its involving pulse. Desmond’s cooing chorus over a bulbous groove makes you her prisoner. Her song has control over your ears and feet. You want to listen to every electro pop nuance while you dance like a maniac to its infectious offerings.
“Rocket Lover” has burbling, eccentric synth melodies tickling your ear while Desmond’s voice glides up and over the mesh of modern pop infusion. She sings her catchy chorus with a propulsion all its own.
Her likeliest hit here is “Talking To God,” an ode to a lover whose very touch is like a religious revelation. The beat is driving and infectious, the type that draws an entire club audience onto the dance floor. The wiry electronic melody too is hypnotic, capturing the excitement of the experience she sings of.
Another potential hit here is “Heartbeat.” The electronic low end line is sweetly chunky, another weapon in Desmond’s arsenal used to motivate listeners to booty shaking, foot moving abandon. The whirling keyboard melody sways with unrestrained sensuality while Desmond coos her words with the natural freedom of a morning songbird.
“Rendezvous” has a twisty electronic melody neatly winding itself around a groove, creating one of many strands of ear candy in this piece. Speaking of the groove: Desmond has an unusually uptempo drum machine beat going on while racing synth tweaks make the song feel rocket propelled.
An amusing tale of romance is found in Desmond’s satire of modern love: “Mr. Hot Bot” centers on a robot that’s programmed to meet all of her needs without complicated emotion. The mechanical man has the physical appearance and the physical prowess of her ex-boyfriend. Layers of electronic melody pull the ear into this one. You can have fun trying to figure out how much Desmond has going on at once to arrive at her sound. She injects Sci Fi burbles and something that sounds like a backwards keyboard melody to make you feel you’ve arrived in the next century.
“Imposter” is another destined for radio. The groove sways into an abrupt beat that inspires movement. Taylor Barefoot, Desmond’s longtime musical partner, plays a compact lead guitar line that gets neatly fitted into the swirl of electronic keyboard action. His edge then becomes another fine cornerstone of the sound. Dollops of thick gorgeous groove help make the song come to three-dimensional life. Desmond has so much going on underneath her vocal melody line that she needs to put in an exceptional fine performance to make this works. And she does. In style.
“With Our Eyes” is a joyful pop melody motored by pushy synth stabs. Desmond finesses this vocal melody with her clear crisp delivery. Keyboard sounds dance while Taylor Barefoot’s lead guitar cuts through the modern atmospherics with his edgy rock delivery.
In “Loose Ends,” Desmond makes her case against lovers who have unfinished businesses with previous girlfriends. Another potential radio hit, the tune, through Desmond’s emotionally honest lyrics, makes you feel her frustration with distracted boys. Her breathy, whispery vocal allures as a keyboard line intriguingly makes its mysterious way in and around an infectious beat.
“Bad Habit” is like disco from the 25th century. Desmond’s drum machine plays out a tricky, multifold beat that inspires the listener to move. Over that is Desmond’s racing keyboard noises and frenetic synth. Her rapid fire delivery during the chorus and her assertive vocalizations through her verses are carefully balanced broad strokes and fine touches. This fluid motion makes you feel Desmond is taking you somewhere every time she shifts gears.
A large enveloping synth pulls everything in its path in “Animal Zoo.” Desmond here has a purring electronic melody crawling over a twitchy beat. Her sensual voice, loaded with emotion and suggestion, coos and purrs its way through a lyrical description of hot blooded animals anxious to be unchained.
Desmond closes out her electro-pop masterwork with “You Pulled The Trigger.” She injects spiky keyboard notes into a well-considered electronic groove. Like all of her pop tunes, Desmond finds the perfect balance between a beautiful human voice and electronically created and enhanced music and percussion. This singer intrigues with her stunningly good voice as well as her fancy creative footwork in the recording studio.
Desmond is still young enough to become a big star. It’s only a matter of time before a mogul offers her a contract that is acceptable to her free creative spirit.
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