Even the promise of Casey's first CD didn't adequately prepare us for the emotional intensity, brittle humor, and commanding metaphors that weave through Super America (Urban Ear). He's a competent guitarist, getting fairly folksy support here from his open-ended backup band, the Old Possums. But Casey's main strengths lie in the expressiveness of his songwriting and delivery. Except for the occasional Dylanesque talking blues, Casey sings with the weary determination of a man pulling up a treasure from the bottom of the sea, the spare accompaniment neatly framing his voice. If his targets are sometimes too obvious--as in the anti-mall salvo of the title song, and the self-explanatory "Business Man"--he's confident enough not to overreach, and his aim is true.


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