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Album Review : Cassidy Paris – New Sensation

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Review by Andy Hawes for MPM

20 year old Australian, Cassidy Paris is one of Frontiers Music S.R.L.’s current crop of new breed artists bringing a bit of youthful exuberance to a Melodic Rock scene which is still dominated by slightly, erm, ‘more mature’ artists.

Frontiers have brought in their stalwart supporter Alessandro Del Vecchio to work on this album and Paul Laine (Danger Danger, The Defiants) contributes backing vocals. Interestingly, he has been involved as something of a mentor with Cassidy since she was 11, so it’s good to see him on this, her debut full-length release.

New Sensation occupies a guitar-driven Pop-Rock kind of sound and it’s immediately clear that Cassidy has a clean, clear and reasonably powerful voice. The biog throws the obvious names around as influences (Lzzy Hale, Joan Jett, Pink, Pat Benatar & Avril Lavigne) but truthfully her music doesn’t really sound remotely like any of them. It lacks the rampant hard rocking drive of Halestorm, doesn’t have the punkish danger and attitude of Joan Jett, the swagger of Pink, the classic brilliance of Pat Benatar or the pop savvy of Avril Lavigne. What it does have though is both feet firmly wedged in generic Melodic Rock territory.

Opening track, ‘Danger’ is about as dangerous as a bag of cotton wool balls, but nonetheless has a rather lovely guitar-driven groove and plenty going on in the hookline department, with a chorus that roars in from straight out of 1985 on a bed of crunchy guitar power chords and big backing vocals.

‘R_R Hearts’ continues the theme with a ton of very 1980s production techniques and another catchy chorus before a delicate piano intro leads us into the ballad, ‘Here I Am’ which sounds like something that would have been in the Rock charts back in the early-mid 2000s, albeit with a 1980s influenced arrangement.

I keep being reminded of Hinder’s early ballads when I listen to this, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The chorus is another big one, being very simplistic in its melodies, but at the same time extremely catchy. It’s certainly the one I held onto after initial listens.

‘Walking On Fire’ sees a return to the chugging crunchy guitars of the first two tracks, with Cassidy’s voice displaying just a little more grit in the verses and with another catchy chorus and a sound and style that is once again a hybrid of the 80s and early 2000s. This is followed by ‘On The Bright Side’ which has a similar kind of vibe in the writing and arrangement although the guitars are toned down a little in the verses of this one. When the big guitars kick in they do lift the chorus, which is a good thing as it’s melodically the weakest thus far.

‘Song For The Broken Hearted’ kicks in with a guitar riff and sound that reminds me of some of the New Breed/Modern Rock of the late 90s/early 2000s. The production and arrangement on this one is very straightforward and open which does allow the vocal to breathe. Shame then that the hooks are a little on the limp side on this one, with the guitar solo doing nothing to lift the track above the ordinary.

‘Searching For A Hero’ has a very promising intro, with menacing minor key acoustic guitar and cool vocals before bigger guitars crash in to herald another of the catchy choruses that the beginning of the album gave us. This is continued into ‘Like I Never Loved You’ and it’s great to hear the album pick up after a couple of weaker tracks.

‘Stand’ has more light and shade in the production and this works quite well, giving the song that little bit of extra to keep the listener interested. ‘Addicted’ has a cool intro guitar part and a choppy rhythm guitar part behind the verses before the slamming power chords of the chorus. Again, the extra light and shade in the production of this one lift it considerably.

The album ends with ‘Midnight Desire’ which starts off with the very modern AOR keyboards of Mr Del Vecchio on a track which sounds quite different to most of the rest of the album, as the AOR vibe has been distinctly absent from most of the tracks. Like the opening track, this one has a chorus straight out of 1985 and is one of the more satisfying tracks on the album. It certainly suits Cassidy’s vocal style.

As debut albums go, this unfortunately isn’t going to set the world on fire. It’s not a bad album, but there is a lot of inconsistency in the quality of the writing and having started really well it suffers from a mid-album slump. It does pick up again though and that final track is a bit of a winner. Cassidy herself has a decently good voice, but it isn’t distinctive like the voices of her main influences. The instrumental backing is very safe and, with a few exceptions notably the first and last tracks, a little bit ordinary.

I’m not really sure who the audience for this album is. It’s probably too retro for the 20 year olds in Cassidy’s age-group but doesn’t quite have the quality to make it stand up for the older fans of the classic female Rock artists of the 80s and 90s. It is one of those albums where you’ll probably want to download the first, second and last tracks and perhaps a handful of the others depending on your tastes (‘Here I Am’ is definitely on my list to download!) rather than buying the whole album outright.

All that being said, there’s definitely a place for Cassidy Paris in the Frontiers roster and I suspect (and hope) that this isn’t the last we’ll hear of her. There are certainly a few sparks here that, with the right support and development and with more experience, could really catch fire. She should certainly be congratulated for sounding a tad different to many of the bands on the Frontiers roster. I look forward to hearing how Cassidy Paris develops her sound going forward.

1  Danger
2  RnR Hearts
3  Here I Am
4  Walking On Fire
5  On The Bright Side
6  Song For The Broken-Hearted
7  Searching For A Hero
8  Like I Never Loved You
9  Stand
10  Addicted
11  Midnight Desire

Cassidy Paris – vocals
Steve Janevski – guitars
Dave Graham – guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio – bass, keyboards, guitars, backing vocals
Mirko De Maio – drums
Paul Laine – backing vocals


Instagram:   / cassidyparisofficial  

Youtube:    / @cassidyparisofficial  

Facebook:   / cassidyparisofficial  

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