PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


Paddy Casey: Addicted to Company

Armed with clean, tight rock and soul rhythms, Paddy Casey coasts on the waves of pleasant, studio-perfect pop.

Paddy Casey

Addicted to Company

Label: SonyBMG
US Release Date: 2008-04-01
UK Release Date: 2007-09-07

It's hard to know what to expect from Paddy Casey judging by the cover of Addicted to Company. Casey's unshaven visage stares off into space. The black and white tint obscures the rosy-cheeked glow of his Irish blood. He could be any guy you might pass on the street. In short, there are no clues of the clean, tight rhythms of pop, rock, and soul that are the heart of Addicted to Company. Those judging only by the cover are cleary missing out, for there's a lot to like here.

After achieving multi-platinum success in Ireland with Living (2004), the Dublin-based singer-songwriter teamed with producers George Drakoulias (Tom Petty, Then Black Crowes, Tift Merritt) and Pat Donne for 13 songs, and one hidden track, that are as good as any contemporary pop you're likely to hear in 2008. Casey's lyrics are divided fairly equally into categories of politics and romance. In contrast to his somewhat gruff appearance, his voice is a gentle instrument and he sings with an earnest heart. While not a perfect vocalist (there are moments where the melody falls somewhat flat), he always sounds honest.

Songwriting and playing are more his strengths. The album's opener "Sound Barrier" grabs immediately. "Are you listening? Can you hear them?", he sings before the song locks into a soulful groove. The rhythm and melody carry the song, since Casey's lyrical reference point is a bit vague. Who are the "them"? Where is the "place" he sings of? Perhaps the subject is intentionally nameless so the lyrics can refer to any place where a group of people is disenfranchised. Casey's reliance on the rhyming book in the verses is also somewhat distracting from the song's easy appeal.

The stand-out track arrives very early on, following the first cut. "Addicted to Company" is a buoyant sail across the sea of love. Casey's voice vacillates dreamily between bliss and longing. The gorgeous harmonies of the background singers carry the refrain, "Baby what are you looking for", towards a heaven bound destination. Graceful strings, soft horns, and luminescent keys simulate mid-'70s pop-soul. Rather than merely mimicking the sound of the era, Casey and his producers create the illusion that it's an unearthed gem from long ago. Wisely, that kind of celestial quality is reserved only for one track on the album, giving "Addicted to Company" even more of a special distinction.

Moving far along the spectrum of style, Paddy Casey channels a "Long Tall Glasses"-era Leo Sayer on "Not Out to Get You". This delightful concoction of burlesque banjo and piano is the most fun Casey has on the album. Conversely, "Refugee" is among the more bleak cuts. An interesting marriage of furious, flamenco-inspired guitar strumming takes flight over Casey's grievance, "The look on my face/is just the disgrace/of the child you locked outside your door". Rather than the rage the lyrics suggest, Casey emotes a more melancholy, navel-gazing tone.

The roughness in Casey's voice on "It's Over Now" would seem a more suitable dressing for "Refugee". It's only here that the listener gets a sense of Casey's roots as a busker on the streets of Dublin. He sings with just the right measure of bitterness, handling his guitar with an equal amount of ferocity.

"It's Over Now" is a welcome jolt after the sugary anthem "U & I". Overstaying its welcome at five minutes, "U & I" is a bit too precious for its own good, with the obligatory choir driving the message of universality into the ground. The pastoral folk on the album's untitled track is a good example of how Casey achieves much more with less contrivances.

The songs on Addicted to Company would probably translate best in a concert setting, where the studio tricks would be minimal and Casey's performance could come across a bit less filtered. His knack for writing memorable melodies is assured and a live album would be a welcome supplement to the studio recordings. Certainly there are any number of ways Paddy Casey could go from Addicted to Company but for now, he's coasting on the waves of pleasant, studio-perfect pop.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.


Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.


'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.


The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.


15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.


'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.