Casey Neill

Brooklyn Bridge

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The title cut of Casey Neill's Brooklyn Bridge has a lazy, romantic quality, highlighted by Neill's gruff vocal and the commingling of Wurlitzer (sounding like an electric piano) and steel guitar. He's joined briefly by Erin McKeown, who underpins his vocals here and there, and adds echoing asides to the chorus. "Brooklyn Bridge" has the same expansive quality as Sandy Denny's early-'70s work, and a similar ability to build effective arrangements. The follow-up, "We Are the City," rocks harder, while "The Holy Land" captures an upbeat Celtic cadence buttressed by accordion and whistle. The production smoothes the kinks out of Neill's gruff vocals for "Once Upon a Time," adding a quirky pop quality to the song's folk base. Thanks to these shifts between straight folk, Celtic, folk-pop, and rock, Brooklyn Bridge never falls into dull routine, making it much more engaging than the run-of-the-mill singer/songwriter product. Neill is aided in his efforts by a long list of friends/musicians. John Wesley Harding adds his vocals to the easy folk of "Once Upon a Time," while Nancy Hess helps out on the gentle "Beautiful Night." Brooklyn Bridge ends much as it began, with McKeown joining Neil for the unhurried "Colville Blues," an apt closer for a satisfying album.

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