5.5

Paddy Casey: Addicted to Company (Part 1)

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Paddy Casey: <i>Addicted to Company (Part 1)</i>

Beloved Irish songwriter fishes for American success with big hooks

Since 2003’s Living went multi-platinum in his native Ireland, Paddy Casey seems to have decided on a run at the American bigtime. With beefed-up production that runs the gaunt from orchestra to slinky funk ensemble, Casey’s bid for success maintains his sincerity—and it might end up on the radio anyway.

At Company’s most polished moments, such as triple-A hit-to-be “You’ll Get By,” Casey’s songwriting is beset on all sides by the kind of guitar-pop formalism you’d expect from John Mayer. It’s uplifting, gorgeously melodic and one hell of a yawn. Casey is at his best when his songs are at their most extreme: the arena-sized barrage on “City;” the mid-tempo R&B sleeper “I Keep;” the finger-picked arpeggios on “Leaving.” The songs themselves are mostly unimpeachable—Casey is talented and emotional in equal, grave amounts. But despite the album’s breakthrough potential, Company will eventually stand as more of a placeholder than a mile-marker in what could be an illustrious career.

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