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Cassie - Cassie

Cassie, LP

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

HAVING taken the UK chart by storm with her addictive debut single, Me & U, Cassie releases her debut self-titled album and strikes a pretty jolly note.

The talented young singer (she’s only 19) is being hailed as a potentially major force in R’n’B and the success of her first offering, Me & U, with its hypnotic melodic hook and simple beat, has already landed her a place on Sean Diddy Combs’ Bad Boy roster.

And while there’s nothing particularly innovative about the album as a whole, it’s savvy enough, vibrant enough and fun enough to register strongly amid the current crop of R’n’B copycats.

Cassie’s vocals are crisp, lively and just young enough to mark her out as a performer on the rise, while some of the beats, melodies and hand-clapping beats effortlessly ease you into an upbeat state of mind.

Tracks like Ditto and What Do U Want are classic cases in point. The latter boasts a smart guitar riff running throughout and some borderline cheesy electronic flourishes (some of which hark back to the ‘80s), but it somehow works in the same way that Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl.

Ditto, meanwhile, is an impossibly sweet record that is built around a genuinely addictive chorus – the type of which you’ll find yourself happily singing along to in spite of any misgivings about the mainstream!

Indeed, fears that Me & U may have been a one track wonder are quickly dispelled by second track, Long Way 2 Go, another guiltily infectious offering that benefits from a finger clicking backbeat, whispered vocal trade-offs and a snappy underlying melody. Think Nelly Furtado’s new material and you’re somewhere close to the overall quality.

Likewise, the edgier, more streetwise Call U Out, which drops the sort of hip hop inclined production flashes that the likes of 50 Cent and The Game would be proud of, attitude-wise.

Even the more average tracks, such as album closer Miss Your Touch contain an exuberance about them which stems from Cassie’s vivacious style and the slick production values that accompany them.

While slower numbers (of which, thankfully, there aren’t too many), have a maturity that’s beyond Cassie’s years, as in the sultry Not With You which is preceded by the minute-long spoken track Hope You’re Behaving – built simply but effectively around a melancholy piano loop and the sound of the singer on the answering machine to her love, desperate to hear from him in between a photo shoot and “going into the studio”.

In short, then, this is an extremely accomplished debut that capably justifies the faith shown by Sean Diddy in her talents, and the hype surrounding her based on the success of that debut single.

Track listing:

  1. Me And U
  2. Long Way 2 Go
  3. About Time
  4. Kiss Me
  5. Call U Out
  6. Just One Nite
  7. Hope You’re Behaving
  8. Not With You
  9. Ditto
  10. What Do U Want
  11. Miss Your Touch