' This Kinda Love' comes right on time for Simon Casey
Photo: Simon Casey and Cliona Hagan sing 'Run To You' on his new album.
When it comes to songs of love, Simon Casey has simply always possessed a voice perfect for sentimentality and romance. In fact, the Offaly man stands peerless amongst his contemporaries in this regard.
And if that was ever in question, then just one listen to his immaculately produced new album - 'This Kinda Love' - will quickly cast such doubts aside.
From his fair-of-face emergence into the public eye underneath the glow of the 'You're A Star' spotlight all those years ago, to where he stands today; as a man for whom family and fatherhood count above all else, Simon's voice has always been instantly recognisable.
Sounding like satin wrapped in velvet, then sprinkled with the sparkle of stardust for good measure, this new 12-track long-player showcases how the passing of time itself has aged that voice like the finest of wines, elevating it even closer to a place where 'heavenly' becomes the only word worth reaching for to accurately describe its beauty.
Every song on 'This Kinda Love' is an embrace from artist to listener. And you - as the listener - will be all the better for having each one become a part of your life. Simon has long since mastered the art of song-choice, an oft' overlooked craft in itself. And it's a talent on display once again here. His classy interpretations are the kiss of life that never fails to rejuvenate songs. And more often than not, what he does in a studio takes a track to a level the original could only aspire to meeting.
On 'This Kinda Love', you'll witness that kind of magic on the Extreme chart-topper More Than Words, where Simon is joined by his Take It To The Limit bandmate, Johnny Brady. It's a similar story on the Lady A crossover-classic, 'Run To You', where a delicately stripped back version of the song sees Simon and Irish country star Cliona Hagan ramp things up to an emotional high that even the American super-group couldn't match.
And to have your heart broken in just three and a half minutes, hit play on the Elliott Park and Walt Aldridge penned, 'I Loved Her First'. Expect to cry. And expect to hit repeat, too. Often.
The collection opens with a treat for fans, in the shape of a brand new song from the man himself, the album's title-track 'This Kinda Love' which was playlisted by RTE Radio 1 upon its release last week. Coming in at just under two-minutes, the simplicity of the song is in itself a message for the times we're in. Life is simple. Love is simple. And sometimes, that's all we need to remember.
'This Kinda Love' is an album to be enjoyed in a way that just lets your soul soak in it at the end of a long day, or a hard week. And yes, at the end of a tough year, too. It's one to reach for when your spirit needs to find the sort of calm and safe harbour that only music - and love - ever bring. There's a grace, a gentleness, and indeed, a simplicity too, underlying everything to do with this album. And it reminds the listener of two indisputable certainties...
Love is everything. And Simon Casey is the greatest singer of love-songs that Ireland has seen and heard in decades. This Kinda Love comes right on time, when it's exactly the kind of album we need to hear.
'This Kinda Love' is out now and available from selected stockists - including Gussie's Supermarket in Ballycumber and Moate Meats/ Gillivans Butchers in Moate - and by contacting the official SIMON CASEY MUSIC Facebook page.