ALBUM REVIEW: Cas Haley “Connection”

UK Release Date: 11th October 2010
Label: Easy Star Records

Coming in second place on America’s Got Talent can certainly not do anything bad for your career prospects. With Simon Cowell waiting in the wings to sign him after AGT finished, a management and record contract at his taking, Haley has gone his own way.

“Connection” is something surprisingly different. The individuality of Haley is the be-all-and-end-all of this album. He time on AGT showed the US, and probably those of us watching across the world, that he was a sensitive, humble and graciously talented musician. This album builds on that, word-by-word, track-by-track.

Of the 13 tracks on this album, there are 3 which stand out from the rest. “Release Me (The Fear)” is the opening track, and sets the foundation of the whole album. That distinctive sound of reggae meeting the new world, is something which many people may never have been touched by. It’s own smooth, soulful vibes are difficult to not resist.

“Let It Out” confuses the listener for the split second duration of the intro – just for a moment you are expecting something a little harder sounding, but following that brief moment the listener settles into the comfort of Haley’s sound. The gentle vibes taking you slowly forward, on gentle waves almost in a Marley-esque fashion.

“Counting Stars” is probably one of our favourite tracks on the album, with the slightly more jazzy feel tingeing the that beautifully crafted reggae funk sound. It has been referred to as ‘reggae-pop’ and although this may be the case, we would suggest that it is definitely Haley’s sound alone. Moment’s like the little rocky flourish at the end of “Counting Stars” are those individual touches which the listener loves.

Cas Haley challenges those misconceived preconceptions about what he should sound like or look like, the music is the fundamental and Haley’s brand just wont let go of you. Funk, blues, reggae, and jazz and all moulded into a sound that is warm, heart-felt and enticing. In terms of albums that you should buy just to see if you like them, this is definitely up there.

Rating: 4/5

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