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ALBUM REVIEW: "Aurora" by Case Garrett

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It’s said that imitation is the best form of flattery.

If this is the case, Bob Dylan should be flattered by Case Garrett’s album Aurora.  However, perhaps it would suit Garrett to take a few lessons from Dylan.

Suitcase Records will present its new talent in November. Memphis-born Garrett has worked as a musician for years in various country bars and little venues. As he continued to write songs, Garrett was able to attract the attention from the executives at Suitcase Records to make his debut album.

The sound of alternative country and bluegrass has been part of Garrett’s upbringing.

“That's how music started for me. Just in love with the magic hush of some Louisiana bayou, or needing to capture that feeling I had when first heard some sounds in Memphis. Like a junkie. I just started chasing it. That feeling,” says Garrett.

Yet, like any addiction, things may seem better from a close standpoint. It’s only whenever you take a step back and examine it for what it is, do we see the cracks in the foundation.

Out of an eight-track album, there is not a single one of the songs that remotely has any appeal to it. The ideas of the songs include downgrading himself to hang with the devil, talk-singing about a town he saw once and a girl he loved who didn’t like Elvis Presley.

Aside from the things I didn’t like about the album, I must commend the man for his commitment to pure, old-school country. There is something to talking in a sing-song tune behind a low strumming acoustic guitar that takes me back to my childhood with my Dad.

Garrett had a sense about him throughout the course of the album that he wanted to pay homage to those who came before him; figures like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan.

Where the artists differ is that each of the three listed have a cool, measured nature about them that doesn’t seem forced onto the audience. You just knew that these men were cool by definition.

The same cannot be said for Garrett.

Tracks like “Call Me The Breeze” and “What Can I Say?” felt as though he wanted to impress the audience with the life he’s lived. Each lyric sung had a sense of wanting to be known as the cool cat on campus even at the older age of his early sixties.

Some of the faults of the album can be forgiven on the account that this is Garrett’s debut album. This type of record could be found in most country-western stores and hole-in-the-wall music shops.

At the end of the day, music is supposed to come from the heart. It needs to speak to the artist and allow that person to be who they are from the inside out.

The most disconcerting thing about the album is that Garrett has the capability to be a unique artist in the bluegrass, country genre. With a wash of Luke Bryan’s and Mountain Heart bands, Garrett could be a refreshing change.

Where the problem lies is in the shadows of the men he continues to emulate.

It’s okay to love Bob Dylan.

It’s okay to love Johnny Cash.

This doesn’t mean that you need to try to make some carbon copy of their work and sell it as your own.

While I was looking forward to Garrett’s album, it’s safe to say that Aurora was a rocky first step in the music industry. The Beatles first album wasn’t a success and neither was Prince’s debut.

What separates the singers from the others is their tenacity to move forward.

Case Garrett could continue to see his career rising if he sees that there is more to his music than impersonating those before him. Here’s hoping for originality with the next album. 

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About the Author

Brandon King

Brandon King is a journalism student at OCCC, working towards becoming a professional writer....

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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