Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Fade Away Diamond Time
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Desert Island Disc
Jesse May | NY, NY | 05/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone knows desert island discs: the peculiar albums that grow into you over the years, whose quantity never changes but whose quality evolves just as you do. "Fade Away Diamond Time" is, by my account, one of those albums. The itinerant Neal Casal saturates each song with a poignant, autumnal sagacity tempered by his own exubarant wanderlust, perfectly embodied in the album's penultimate song, a cover of Barbara Keith's "Detroit or Buffalo". This song rocks the ambivalence of rootlessness with the boundless joy and sorrow that characterizes Neal's best music. "So I'm takin this train to the end of the line/ I'm missing every mile that friend of mine". It's the sound of tears and laughter pouring from the face of a traveler heading 75 down an empty highway at the onset of another long journey. But to laud this album based on the merits of its lone cover song would be dubious and misleading; "Detroit or Buffalo" merely crystalizes many of the themes that permeate Casal's album of perfectly unified songs: exultant, bittersweet rockers like "Day in the Sun", "One Last Time", and "Cincinatti Motel" effortlessly carry the same thematic and emotional baggage on the merits of Casal's own impeccable songcraft. Conversely, the wistful melancholy of intimate strummers like "These Days With You" and the gorgeous folk-waltz, "Sunday River", capture the same weight but float on the wistful melancholy of acoustic guitars and piano balladry. "Bird in Hand", however, finds Casal plumbing his emotional depths to a devestating effect - in the voice of a grown man shining the light of his father's emotional absence through his own sadness and confusion ("I'm getting old before my time/ Looking for what little truth there is to find") Casal laments and absolves the father's absence, "I feel bad for you now/ You've missed out on so much". With "Bird in Hand" Casal captures for the listener the cathartic release of anyone who's ever discovered that they've grown up too little, too late. Tender guitar and piano lines swell in time with the plaintive pedal steel and organ work of, respectively, the peerless studio musicians Greg Leisz and John Ginty, who trade off the musical responsibility of bouying the song's heartbreak with Casal's singing until its climax when Casal's repeated cries of "It won't get any better" reach their breaking point and can no longer bear the burden of their own staggering emotion, at which point the intrumental work takes over and does that which only pure music can do: transcend the expressive boundaries of words and convey the ineffable.
Every musician who contributes to this album stands alone on their own merits, but, in the recording studio, under the auspice of giving voice to Casal's passionate songwriting, they've collaborated and expressed something unified and timeless. This album could be the crowning jewel of any other musician's body of work, but each new album finds Casal's crown sitting alone in a cloud of dust, testament to the fact that, musically, Casal has and seemingly always will be focused not on the destination but on the journey - "Fade Away Diamond Time" merely marks the first of the many beautiful and bittersweet stretches of highway that Casal has traveled."
Nam | Live Oak, Florida | 06/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Neal Casal has a melodic tone to his voice. It is quaint and sort of 'homage' you could say. 'Bird In Hand' is simplistic yet it carries all the way through. A song to listen to when there is nothing around and it is quite quiet. 'Detroit or Buffalo' has a sort of quality that makes one think, but, not too much. It is just the tone of his voice with each strung chord. Each beat being carried to the next. All the songs are good, those two are just the ones that hit me the most.A great album."
Sawney Beane | Glasgow | 01/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Neal Casal's best album, but it is almost impossible to get in the UK. With tracks like bird in hand,free to go & Detroit or Buffalo, it's a pity it's not as widely available as it should be."