2007-07-23Lansing-born and now a Grand Rapids resident, Casey Stratton has gone independent after a disappointing experience with Sony Records. “The Crossing” showcases a talented singer-songwriter. Some have criticized for not being more distinctive, for trying to sound like Tori Amos or Sarah McLachlan, and in fact when I first heard this disc (in a noisy daycare center) I was momentarily reminded a little of Tori, but it’s a very superficial resemblance (if you want to hear someone who REALLY is trying to be Tori, listen to Charlotte Martin). A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Stratton’s higher range is remarkable – on some tracks his voice is positively feminine – and he plays most of the instruments on this album. Each track is listenable; his lyrics are very personal and introspective. The only track I don’t care much for is “False Prophet,” a somewhat sophomoric protest song. I’ve had this disc in my car this last week and have listened to it three times through. I’m liking it more on each listen. This is some good stuff from a Michigan artist. Tim Smith
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